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Govt to be guarantor for MeECL loan

Power corporation yet to realise consumer dues of over Rs 350 cr

SHILLONG: The State Government, for the second time in five years, has decided to bail Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) out of the present crisis of huge outstanding amount that it owes to NEEPCO.
The State Cabinet on Friday decided to be the guarantor for MeECL for loan from Power Finance Corporation (PFC) to clear the Rs 469.32-crore dues to NEEPCO, including the Rs 98.44 crore as surcharge. The amount was calculated keeping in mind that NEEPCO would waive off 60 per cent of the total surcharge.
Speaking to media persons after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said the Cabinet has also decided to constitute a team comprising finance and power department officials that will prepare modalities for better functioning of MeECL.
Slamming MeECL over its failure to realise the outstanding bill to the tune of over Rs 350 crore from consumers, Sangma asked the power corporation to implement an effective and smarter system of realising the dues.
The MeECL was also asked to analyse the gap between its revenue and expenditure and address the problem of negative balance of around Rs 300 crore.
Reacting to a query about the pending electricity bills of industries in the State, Sangma said a few cases have been challenged in court and they are under litigation. “There is no more room for MeECL to have a laidback attitude to realising outstanding dues from industries. The realisation was better and regular in the past,” he added.
Apart from the Rs 469.32 crore to NEEPCO as per the last quarter, MECL also has to pay Rs 30.57 crore to NHPC, Rs 44.08 crore to NTPC, Rs 39.71 crore to other sources and Rs 36.44 crore to Power Grid and the total outstanding amount comes to Rs 767 crore.
In 2011, the State Cabinet had agreed to stand guarantor for Rs 50-crore loan for the cash-strapped MeECL to repay an earlier loan taken from the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB).
Later, in 2013, the power company had again asked the State Government to act as its counter guarantor for a Rs 1,400-crore loan which the Corporation plans to take from different financial institutions as capital for various projects.

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