NEEPCO

Meghalaya is a big defaulter – did not pay Rs 620 crore to the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO).

Unhappy with “unprecedented delay” in clearing dues, NEEPCO has requested New Delhi to deduct Rs 620 crore from Meghalaya’s quota of central pool of fund.

During the last few months, NEEPCO has been requesting Meghalaya government to clear its outstanding payment for power purchase.

But, there was hardly any response from power-starved Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd (MeECL) to clear the outstanding payment.

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Unprecedented delay in the payment resulted in accumulation of a whooping Rs 620 crore, senior NEEPCO officials told Northeast Now on Sunday.

Meghalaya government’s burden of outstanding amount with NEEPCO is growing everyday as the Central PSU levies 1.5 percent interest per month.

“We had no other option but to write to the Ministry of Power to deduct the amount at source from Meghalaya’s Central pool of fund,” the NEEPCO official said.

And because of the unprecedented delay in the payment, during the last few months, it is a matter of shame that NEEPCO has stopped supplying power to Meghalaya on credit.

“Now, we supply power to Meghalaya only against advance payments,” the official said, adding that advance payment till January 3 has been received.

On an average, Meghalaya government pays Rs 65 lakhs daily in advance to NEEPCO for supply of power.

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At present, Meghalaya government’s monthly power purchase bill with NEEPCO is about Rs 20 crore.

Following a cabinet approval, NEEPCO is all set to be taken over by NTPC, India’s largest energy conglomerate, by March 31, 2020.

The phase of NEEPCO’s transition is going to be uncertain for people of Meghalaya.

And, any further delay by the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd (MeECL) to clear the dues may push Meghalaya to long hours of load-shedding.

Anirban Roy

Anirban Roy is Editor-in-Chief of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: editor@nenow.in