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Power Tax Drive Extends To Government Offices

IMPHAL, Feb 12: Apart from public consumers, the ongoing tax collection drive has been extended to both State and Central Government offices, said Electricity Department Chief Engineer N Sarat.

Speaking to media persons at Electricity office, Keishampat this afternoon, N Sarat claimed that the Finance Department has paid Rs 52 crores out of the total power bills due to State Government offices for 2009-10.

The amount paid by the Finance Department was power bills indebted to Government departments till September 2009.

Electricity Department has also collected Rs 8.5 crores indebted to Central Government offices including the office of Accountant General (AG).

Further, the department has asked the Government to pay another amount of Rs 32 crores for the outstanding dues indebted to Government offices for the period starting from October 2009 to March 2011.

The Chief Engineer claimed that Government departments have cleared power taxes fully.

Outstanding due indebted to public consumers for 2009-10 was Rs 257 crores against which only Rs 14.24 crores could be collected.

The amount of outstanding dues indebted to public consumers rose to Rs 309 crores by December 2010. During 2010-11, the department could collect only Rs 10.30 crores as power tax.

However, during the drive launched since January 24 under the Electricity Act 2003, the department could collect Rs 4.59 crores within the month of January. For the month of February, the department has so far collected Rs 2.85 crores.

In the course of the ongoing drive, power connections of 2330 defaulters have been snapped while 46 unauthorized consumers have been sent to prison. Moreover, cases have been filed against 137 consumers, Sarat elaborated.

Saying that the department has devices which easily detects re-connection to power lines after they were snapped, the Chief Engineer cautioned that the defaulters would be fined Rs 1.20 lakh or face imprisonment for five years under the Electricity Act if they are caught for the second time.

He said that power lines of defaulters are disconnected after procuring fool-proof evidence of the wrongdoing.

All those power lines which have been re-connected after being disconnected by the department would be removed. Saying that the ongoing drive meant for welfare of the public would not be successful without people’s support, the Chief Engineer informed that necessary efforts would be put in to disconnect power lines of unauthorized consumers and streamline the power supply.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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