» Electricity Arrears Waiver Scheme
ELECTRICITY ARREARS WAIVER SCHEME (RS.1,660 CRORES) – A UNIQUE MODEL TO CONVERT DEFAULTERS INTO BILL PAYERS
Haryana has witnessed extensive violence and loss of lives of farmers in police firing over payment of electricity arrears. ‘Kandela Firing’ in Jind by the regime of Shri Om Prakash Chautala proved to be his final undoing. Successive effort to persuade the defaulters to pay the outstanding amount met with no success.
Electricity arrears amounted to Rs.1,660.52 crores on 31st March, 2005 and increased to Rs.1,782 crores on 16th June, 2005. This comprised of Rs.1,100 crores of principal amount and Rs.682 crores of surcharge. It also meant leaving out nearly 13.86 lakh consumers out of the bill payment cycle of Electricity Utilities.
Unique Bill Waiver Scheme was formulated by Congress government in 2005 and was introduced on 17th June, 2005. According to the scheme, entire outstanding amount was divided into 20 equal installments. A defaulting consumer was required to pay current bills for the next 20 months to avail of the settlement scheme. With payment of one current bill, one installment of the defaulting amount stood waived. Only condition was continuation in the scheme. After extension, 9.21 lakh consumers opted for the scheme upto 31st March, 2007. Upto 31st January, 2008; electricity arrears of 6.19 lakh consumers amounting to Rs.998.78 crores stood waived. In terms of percentage progress, it is 67.2%.
This scheme inculcated the habit of regular payment of bills in over 9 lakh consumers, who had been left out of the billing cycle, besides providing succour for long outstanding and unrecoverable arrears of electricity.