PSEB engineers oppose adjusting subsidy against loan

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Patiala, Mar 27 (UNI) The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Engineers Association has again written to Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) not to allow the state government to adjust subsidy against loan.

The Association President HS Bedi said at least in future the state government's practice of adjusting cash subsidy against loans should not be allowed otherwise the whole system may collapse one day.

The cash subsidy is a must to run the PSEB so that industrial and domestic consumers could get better supply.

Mr Bedi further said that "PSEB is heading towards bankruptcy after the recent decision of state government to adjust the cash subsidy due to board against earlier loans." "PSEB was facing a deficit of Rs 800 crores for the current financial year but the decision of Punjab Government not to give cash subsidy of Rs 1400 crore but to adjust against earlier loans has put the board on the verge of financial bankruptcy," said Mr Bedi.

The Board would be seeking new loans to purchase fuel for thermal plants and power purchases from other states. In case PSEB could not get loans from the market it would be cutting power purchases from other sources. This may worsen the power position during coming summer and paddy season, he said.

Meanwhile, PSEB sources said that power cuts on domestic lines will continue till April-end and may increase if power demand increases due to increase in temperature. The board has signed contracts for power from May to purchase additional 400 lakh units.

A unit of Lehra Mohabbat has also become operational, which will generate around 250 mw of power.

At present, four-hour power cuts are being imposed on domestic consumers while industrial consumers get compulsory one-day weekly off. At times, the duration of the power cuts extends up to five hours, depending upon the availability of power.

Sources further added that hydel power generation has hit a new-low these days but it will increase in May when snow starts melting. Further, the board will buy power from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and a few private companies.

UNI PS MMS1759

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