Maha Speaker Patole wants average power bill charges to be turned off

Mumbai: Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Nana Patole on Tuesday suggested the state government that the average electricity bill charged by the power distribution companies for power consumption should be stopped. He was referring to the inflated bills received by the electricity consumers from distribution companies during lockdown as they took an average of three months.

Patole’s suggestion is important as the state government has not done anything to provide relief to consumers with inflated bills but backtracked on its earlier assurance.

Patole intervened during a discussion on the supplementary demands in the state assembly. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis criticised the state government for not providing much needed relief to the electricity consumers who have received exorbitant bills based on average billing during the lockdown.

Patole said the power distribution companies have sent bills on an average basis to some consumers who have no homes of their own and also electricity meters. He stated that it was a political issue but average billing should be stopped in Maharashtra.

Fadnavis claimed that the consumers were hit hard because of a lack of decision to help them in bills following differences among the ruling partners. He wanted the MVA partners to keep aside their contradictory views while putting burden on the electricity consumers.

The energy minister Dr Nitin Raut last month clarified that consumers have to pay the full amount of the power bill as it was not possible for the Mahavitaran to incur further debt at this stage. He pointed out that MahaVitaran’s arrears have surged to Rs 59,000 crore and its debt is increasing.

Dr Raut said the consumers have been given the option of paying the bill amount in three instalments adding that 69 per cent of the outstanding bills have been recovered so far.

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