Friday, January 8, 2016

Powering banks to collect electricity bills

DERC to permit consumers to make cash payment through banks
The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is all set to approve the proposal of the Aam Aadmi Party government which would make it mandatory for consumers to make cash payments for electricity bills only through banks.

Besides, the power regulator is also planning to increase the limit of cash payment from Rs. 4000 to Rs. 20,000.

Sources in the commission confirmed to The Hindu that the power regulator is going to issue an order in this regard within a week’s time.

“The scheme would not only include public sector banks but others also. An order would be rolled out soon,” said an official. The Delhi government had submitted its proposal to change the mode of cash payment for electricity bills in December last year after which the DERC has had at least two meetings with the stakeholders in this regard.

Welcoming the news, Delhi’s Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) said it was a long pending demand that has “finally been heard”. Rajiv Kakria of GK-I RWA, who had first floated the proposal said, “presently discoms are solely responsible for collecting power bills in their office, both in cash and cheques. This needs to be stopped immediately as there is no transparency in the accounts of these power utilities.” The order will remove any loophole that the discoms might use for concealing their profits, he added.

The government drafted the proposal after a group of RWAs met Chief Minister Arvid Kejriwal and urged him to take up the matter. The move assumes significance as only recently the Delhi High Court had stayed the CAG audit on discoms stating that only the DERC was authorised to conduct audits of the private distribution companies.

The power regulator is also planning to increase the limit of cash payment from Rs. 4000 to Rs. 20,000.

with thanks : The Hindu : LINK

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