Agri con­sumers now owe state dis­com `30K cr

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - San­jay Jog san­[email protected]­

Mum­bai: The Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment may have to shell out more to help the cash-strapped elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany (Ma­hav­i­taran) in view of ris­ing ar­rears from agri­cul­tural con­sumers and also on ac­count of sup­ply to street­lights.

Ma­hav­i­taran’s to­tal ar­rears have in­creased by 23.44% to Rs 40,278 crore in 2018-19 from Rs 32,627 crore in 2017-18. Of the Rs 40,278 crore, the rise in dues from agri­cul­ture con­sumers alone is Rs 30,199 crore against Rs 24,699 crore in­clud­ing in­ter­est which is 22% in­crease. The ar­rears from lo­cal bod­ies for elec­tric­ity sup­ply to street­lights is Rs 4,145 crore against Rs 3,500 crore.

Fi­nance min­is­ter Sud­hir Mun­gan­ti­war in In­terim Bud­get 2019-20 has pro­posed Rs 6,320 crore al­lo­ca­tion for power sub­sidy and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment. But Ma­hav­i­taran has sought more sup­port in the full bud­get to be pre­sented on June 18 in the mon­soon session.

Ma­hav­i­taran has a to­tal con­sumer base of 2.60 crore of which 43 lakh are agri­cul­ture con­sumers. Turn to P4

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