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Power revenue gap widens in JK; liabilities touch Rs 4,000 cr

Srinagar, Dec 28: With swelling power liabilities, the failure of the Power Development Department in collecting power tariff from consumers has been putting a huge burden on the state exchequer.

The shortfall in revenue realization has led to power liabilities of Rs 4000 crore in the state.

“The department has realised only Rs 7000 crore power tariff against the target of Rs 16,000 crore for the last four years in the state,” a PDD official said.

In 2013-14, the PDD had set a target to collect Rs 3,344 crore power tariff; it realised only Rs 1,700 crore.

During 2014-15, the department had fixed a target of Rs 3,500 crore but achieved only Rs 1,773 crore.

The government had set Rs 3,700 crore as power tariff target during 2015-2016 but received only Rs 1,900 crore from the consumers.

In 2016-2017 the department realised around Rs 1,400 crore from the consumers against the target of Rs 3,800 crore.

Similarly during 2017-18, the department realised around Rs 2,000 crore against the target of Rs 4,000 crore.

The trend is almost same in the current year as only 50 per cent power tariff has been realised against the target of Rs 4,200 crore.

The official said that PDD has been warning common people to liquidate balance electricity charges or their installations would be disconnected.

“The common people almost pay as per the agreement but the government is soft towards the industrialists and politicians who are major defaulters of electricity in the state,” the official said.

He added that domestic consumers, industrialists, and government departments have an outstanding of around Rs 1,500 crore in Kashmir on account of power tariff.

At the same time, hundreds of crores of rupees have been spent on power purchase over the years.

In 2012-13, expenditure on power purchases was Rs 4,103 crore, 2013-14 Rs 4,471.96 crore, 2014-15 Rs 5,153 crore, 2015-16 Rs 5,293 crore and 2016-17 was Rs 5,524 crore.

During 2017-18, around Rs 6,000 crore was spent on power purchase. The official details reveal that provisions for power purchase have been enhanced to Rs 5,261 crore in 2018-19 against the original budgetary provision of Rs 4,700 crore, the provision of Rs 5,000 crore have been kept in budget estimates for 2019-20.