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PC: The Indian Express

Haryana launches Voluntary Disclosure Scheme for power consumers

Chandigarh: Haryana government on Saturday launched a Voluntary Disclosure Scheme (VDS) 2016 for declaring tampered or defective meters for all categories of consumers having sanctioned load up to five KW. The scheme shall remain in operation from November 20 to December 31, 2016, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told reporters in Chandigarh on Saturday.

The cases of such consumers, who voluntarily declare tampering of meter or meter being defective, shall be decided as per the provisions of the scheme. The chief minister said the consumers would be charged on nominal consumption basis as per their sanctioned load for last one year on current normal tariff only, instead of twice the tariff along with compounding charges.

The consumer will have the option to deposit the bill amount in lump-sum or in a maximum of six equal bi-monthly installments payable along with the next 6 bills. In case the consumer opts to pay in lump-sum, additional rebate of 5 per cent will be allowed, Khattar said.

The meter installed at the premises shall be replaced with a new electronic meter within three days, he said, adding the cost of the meter would be charged from the consumer, in case the meter is supplied by the Nigam.

The consumers, whose meters have been seized and sent for verification to the M and T Lab and are pending for testing, will also have the option to avail this scheme. No further meter testing and investigation will be done in their case.

The cases of defective meters, including burnt meters, shall also be covered under the scheme, Khattar said. No checking will be carried out during the period of operation of the scheme for consumers having load up to 5 KW and no meter having similar load will be seized and sent to the lab for testing during this period.

The state also launched Surcharge Waiver Scheme- 2016 for small domestic and non-domestic consumers (having sanctioned load up to 2 KW) in rural areas. The scheme will also cover small domestic consumers of up to 2 KW load in urban areas whose connection has been disconnected for nonpayment.

The surcharge amount outstanding as on September 30, 2016 in the name of a consumer who opts for the scheme shall be frozen. 40 per cent of this amount will be waived off on payment of next six bills by the consumer.

Another 30 per cent of the surcharge amount will be waived off at the end of second year on full payment of bills during the year and the remaining surcharge amount will be waived off at the end of the third year.

He said in case the consumer defaults in the payment of three consecutive bills after opting for the scheme, the frozen surcharge will be revived and restored to the extent of un-waived surcharge amount.

He also said that there are large number of consumers, especially in rural areas, who face difficulties in obtaining electricity connection on the ground that default amount stands as per the record against their premises.

The consumers, whose cases are at present in court, will not be covered under this scheme. However, if the consumer withdraws the case, this scheme will be applicable.

Source: The Indian Express

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