The Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd, despite joining the centre's ambitious UDAY scheme aimed at bringing state-run power discoms out of losses, is again saddled with huge arrears to be paid to DVC and Coal India.
Jharkhand was the first state to join the scheme in September 2015. Under the scheme, in January 2016, Rs 5,553 crore was taken as loan from the central government, of which Rs 4,770 crore was paid to the DVC and Rs 783 crore to Coal India.
However, within an year, it again suffered heavy losses and according to JBVNL sources, the company owes DVC Rs 1,500, while Coal India is owed Rs 83 crore.
At the time of joining the scheme, the Union Power Ministry had categorically asked the power utilities to improve their performance.
It was said that the power distribution company was getting loan at the interest rate of 12-13 per cent but if the same loan is taken from the state government, it would be provided at 8 per cent resulting in immediate profit of 4-6 per cent.
To reduce the losses, JBVNL was asked to improve its capacities within a fixed time frame and had to bring T&C loss to 15 per cent by 2019.
Currently, T&C loss is at 40 per cent, while the gap between power supply and collection of revenue was also needed to brought on par by 2018-19. However contrary to these, the company's daily losses continue to increase.
The state government, every month on an average, provides a resource gap of Rs 200 crore in lieu for supplying power in the rural areas at subsidised rates, aimed at reducing the JBVNL's losses.
Jharkhand requires 2,100 MW every day, of which JBVNL purchases 700 MW from DVC at Rs 4.50 per unit. The remaining power is purchased from the central pool and other state-owned entities, incurring a loss of more than Rs 250 crore.
The JBVNL spends Rs 450 crore every month for purchasing power, but the revenue collection stands between Rs 225 crore-Rs 230 crore.
On the other hand, Rs 40 crore is being spent every month for salaries and transfers/postings, meaning JBVNL loses Rs 265 crore monthly and Rs 8.83 crore per day on a day-to-day basis.
"Jharkhand is one of the state which provides power at cheapest rate to consumers. The per unit charge up to 200 unit is just Rs 1.90. The average rate in Bihar and other neighbouring states are Rs 4 per unit. The other problems causing loses are poor collections and power theft," a JBVNL official told IANS.
Jharkhand has 68 lakh houses, of which only 38 lakh have been provided power connections.