Every little bit helps. That appears to be the KSEB reasoning in floating another edition of the one-time settlement special scheme for recovering power bill arrears from consumers.
Orders issued on Friday indicated that the latest scheme will be on upto October this year for all categories of consumers who have run up dues for three years or more.
The principal amount can be paid up in one or four instalments. The penal interest has been fixed at five per cent for consumers who pay the principal amount in a single instalment. It will be reduced to three per cent for reopening/final settlement of closed industrial units.
The penal interest will be six per cent if the principal amount is paid in four instalments. One reason why the KSEB has gone in for a second round is the ‘favourable response’ from consumers when the One-Time Settlement Special Scheme was introduced from February 1 to March 31 this year.
‘’We were able to collect Rs 8.99 crore. The field officers have demanded that the scheme be extended,’’ a senior KSEB official said. But it remains a fact that the lion’s share of the arrears remain unpaid.
Power bill dues have haunted the KSEB for years and much of it are tangled up in court cases, making recovery a laborious, if not difficult process. The latest data on arrears were presented in the Assembly in the recently-concluded session - Rs 1300.81 crore on March 31, 2012. KWA was the single biggest debtor with Rs 302.17 crore and private institutions and industries together owed Rs 568.78 crore.