Government asks states to accept power tariff in digital transactions only

Government asks states to accept power tariff in digital transactions only

The government has asked states to stop accepting electricity bill payments in cash and move to digital mode, a move that can be a giant leap towards a cashless economy as power worth lakhs of crore is consumed every year.

The Union power ministry has told state distribution companies to introduce and strengthen online and digital payment mechanism, to begin with in urban areas and gradually to all electricity consumers, power secretary PK Pujari told ET.

Data available with the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) showed that 1,134,631 million units of electricity was supplied across states during April 2016 and March this year. Shifting to an efficient digital payment mechanism could generate Rs 340,389 crore, going by a conservative estimate of Rs 3 per unit tariff.

“The main money collection in the power sector is through distribution companies. We have asked the states to take measures so that consumers pay through e-payments as

far as possible, which could be through net banking, debit cards or credit cards,” Pujari said.

The power ministry will deliberate on ways to promote cashless electricity bills payment in a meeting this week. Power, coal, renewable energy and mines minister Piyush Goyal is scheduled to meet power ministers of all states in Delhi in a two-day conference on Wednesday.

The move towards e-payment of electricity bills is in sync with recommendations of the committee of chief ..  Read more

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