Panaji: Power Minister Nilesh Cabral, on Monday, announced that the government intends to reduce per unit rates for the electricity consumed upto 100 units, and added that it will benefit around 1.72 lakh low power users.
The Minister said that the government is working out a scheme under which 1.72 lakh domestic power consumers using upto 100 units will pay at Rs 1 per unit from existing Rs 1.40 per unit whereas those consuming above 100 units will have uniform rates.
He was speaking at the launching of new swipe machines started on trial basis for accepting bill payment using debit or credit cards at cash counter of electricity department in the city.
“I will approach the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission to get approval for proposed modification of slab rates upto 100 units to pass on the benefits to the lower and middle class families of the state,” the Minister said.
He further announced that all the consumers who pay their electricity bills using online or digital mode within due day from the date of issue of the bill will get payment discount of 1 per cent on their next monthly bill starting from August 1.
The minister said that the move is taken to promote cashless transactions by offering one per cent rebate on electricity bills paid online or through POS machines at the bill payment counter of the department.
“This rebate will be directly added up in the consumer’s electricity bill for the following month, and the new bill is generated after deducting the rebate. We will stop accepting cheques and demand drafts from August 1. We want to promote digitisation not only in payment system but also in transforming administration and we will see the power department the most transparent by year end,” he said.
He also rued over different co-operative banks in the state for showing reluctance in joining the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), which was launched by the Reserve Bank of India as a mandatory system, for easing the payments of bills.
“It is due to the reluctance of co-operative banks to join BBPS, the consumers had to face the brunt. The best alternative would be if every panchayat office starts accepting bill payment with our support,” he added.
He further said that power department has agreed to purchase solar power from the individual generators at new rate of Rs 4 per unit for first three years, but no approval has been granted for that by the JERC, which had earlier reduced the rate from Rs 8 to Rs 2.93 per unit.
The Minister also pointed out that GEDA and power department is coordinating to implement solar energy policy in the state.