The PSEB Engineers’ Association has decided to hold protest throughout the state on Monday against non-payment of salary for the month of January, 2018. Devinder Goyal, General Secretary of the Association, in a statement issued here on Sunday has said that the PSPCL management has failed to take proactive measures on the financial front particularly to get the subsidy amount released from Punjab Government as per the tariff order leading to non disbursal of monthly salary. Costly power purchase from private thermals and releasing payments on priority to them is leading to worsening financial position of state power companies. He said that Punjab Government was required to pay Rs 950 crore per month in advance whereas it has paid only Rs 2,500 crore during the first 10 months out of Rs 10,600 crore due up to Jan 2018. Even if Rs 1,360 crore ED, Rs 950 crore Infrastructure Development Fund and Rs 780 crore as interest under UDAY is adjusted, still Rs 5,010 crore subsidy is pending as on date. On the other side due to lopsided PPA signed with private thermals, PSPCL is to pay Rs 8,000 crore to them during 2017-18 out of total power purchase of Rs 17,000 crore PSERC is also not playing its role as envisaged in the act by overlooking repeated default of non payment of subsidy by government. Goyal further said that poor financial health of PSPCL is also affecting consumer services badly as due to paucity of funds improvement works are the last priority. Further interest paid on loans to bridge the subsidy gap is borne by consumers by paying higher tariff every year.
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