JAMMU: To discuss various issues related to electricity bills raised by Power Development Department for the month of April 2020, with Minimum/Fixed Demand Charges, the Federation of Industries Jammu (FOIJ) convened an urgent meeting on Thursday under leadership of Chairman FOIJ, Lalit Mahajan. Rattan Dogra, Jitender Aul, Deepak Dhawan, Co-Chairmen and other Executive Committee Members were also present on the occasion. On the occasion, the members urged the Government to exempt minimum/ demand charges from electricity bills during lockdown period for the industrial sector of J&K.
It is pertinent to mention here that due to lockdown imposed by the administration since 25th March, 2020 majority of industrial units were shut in last week of March and in April 2020, as permission to operate few units was granted during Lockdown 2.0 with 1/3 work force and other related factors. The Power Development Department raised bills as per their own calculations without taking actual reading of power consumed for the month of March and April 2020 and has also charged Minimum/Fixed Demand /Charges and Electricity Duty on inflated Power Supply Bills without taking into consideration the relaxations to be provided to Industrial Units regarding Minimum/Fixed Demand charges in case power consumed is less than 75 per cent due to non-functioning of the Unit, thereby resulting great resentment amongst Industrial Sector of J&K, which is already suffering badly due to lockdown. It is worthwhile to mention here that majority of the States across the country have exempted Minimum/Fixed Demand charges for Industrial sector for three months whereas no such relief has been provided by J&K administration till date for industrial sector and even the bills raised for month of April 2020 include surcharge for non-payment of bills of March 2020.
The FOIJ requested Lt Governor G C Murmu to intervene into the matter and issue directions to Power Development Department for exemption of Minimum/Fixed Demand charges April/May and June 2020 besides waiving-off surcharges for non-payment in the month of March/April and May 2020 or till end of lockdown, as it would provide great relief to industrial sector.