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Defaulters’ whopping dues add to power crisis

SHILLONG: Several companies in Meghalaya have defaulted in payment of power dues running into several crores of rupees to the State government.
In his reply in the Assembly on Thursday, Power Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar said the defaulting companies include Sai Prakash (Rs 35 crore), CMJ Breweries (Rs 1.25 crore), Bomber Cement (Rs 0.23 crore), RNB Carbide (Rs 4.5 crore), MeECL (Rs 18 crore) and JUD Cement (Rs 0.22 crore).
The irony is that due to financial constraints in the absence of timely payment of dues by the users, the State government is not being able to clear its own dues to various companies.
The dues for purchase of power from NEEPCO and other central generating stations as on March 2 is Rs 527.07 crore.
This was informed by Dhar in reply to a question by UDP’s Jemino Mawthoh.
Dhar said several measures were taken to clear the outstanding dues.
One of the measures was that in December last, MeECL had availed itself of the government guaranteed loan of Rs 325 crore from Power Finance Corporation.
This amount was paid to NEEPCO on December 21 last as part of the one-time settlement plan for liquidation of NEEPCO dues.
The minister also said participation in the Centre’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana for operational and financial turnaround of MePDCL is under active consideration of the State government.

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