Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited in Massive Fiscal Crisis

Himachal PSUs in Shambles-16

 Raghav Guleria

Of the total 22 Corporations in the state, the government has already given indication of extending a helping hand to at least 12 which are making huge losses. The Chief Minister was categorical while stating that none of them would be closed. He has in fact instructed the Chief Secretary to have a quarterly review of all these so that an atmosphere of trust is created improving their fiscal health. Government has already shown its concerns for the State Electricity Board by extending help to it and making budgetary provisions for the state owned transport, HRTC. The government had in the past merged the ones having operational similarities. But experts feel that mere cosmetic repairs would not make any appreciable difference.  Himachal This Week has decided to take up one PSU each week to single out the problems and the possible remedy. This week, we have taken Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board which was constituted on 1st September, 1971 in accordance with the provisions of Electricity Supply Act (1948) and has been reorganized as Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd. from 2010 under company act 1956. Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL), having its registered office at Vidyut Bhawan, Shimla is responsible for the supply of uninterrupted & quality power to all categories of consumers in Himachal Pradesh at the most economical rates. This power is being supplied through a network of transmission, sub-transmission & distribution lines laid along the length and breadth of the state. Ironically this PSU entrusted with illuminating every nook and corner of the state is itself in the dark. Of the all 22 corporations that exist in the state, its cumulative loss is the highest. Of late the government has sensed its importance but it would require a real effort to bring this wonderful organization back on track.guidelines and schemes of National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation. The corporation as on date has just 8-10 employees and the managing director SD Islam, an IFS joined it in March and is due for retirement this month. There is little hope from this Corporation shrinking in size and relevance. All that it needs to do at present is to channelize its resources to recover over Rs 15 crore advanced in loan.

PSUs in the Red

The recent anxiety shown by Virbhadra led government that it is not in favour of closure must have come as music to the ears for all the workers in various Corporations.  Loss making PSUs have got a lease of life as the state has decided to fuel them with budgetary provisions. Political hobnobbing and lack of professionalism in management has already done a lot of harm to these organization which now need to wake up and bring in corporate culture bidding adieu to the government mindset of chalta hai.

(Loss in crores)

Power Board                         Rs 1407

HRTC                                     Rs 653

HPMC                                      Rs 70

Forest Corporation                     Rs 35

Milk Fed                                   Rs 21

Hatkargha                                Rs 20

Agro Industries                         Rs 20

HPTDC                                     Rs 17

Himfed                                12 crore

Minorities                                  Rs 4

General Industries                    Rs 3.5

A Journey through Odds

Electric supply at the time of formation of the state in 1948 was available only in the Capitals of the erstwhile princely states and the connected load at the time was less than 500 kW. The organization of the power utility in the state began when first electrical division was formed in August, 1953 under the Public Works Department. Subsequently a department of M.P.P & Power was formed in April, 1964. The Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board was constituted on 1st September, 1971 in accordance with the provisions of Electricity Supply Act (1948) and has been reorganized as Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd. from 2010 under company act 1956. Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL), having its registered office at Vidyut Bhawan, Shimla is responsible for supply of uninterrupted & quality power to all categories of consumers in Himachal Pradesh at the most economical rates. This power is being supplied through a network of transmission, sub-transmission & distribution lines laid along the length and breadth of the Pradesh. Since its inception, Electricity Board has made long strides in executing the targets entrusted to it but oflate it has been struck into a financial crunch which needs to be addressed on priority.

Mission

Uninterrupted, Reliable and Quality Power Supply to all our Consumers on competitive rates.

Introductions

l Hassle-free online Utility Bill Payments Introduced

l 128-bit SSL encryption – secure e-commerce

l Energy bills payments using Credit/Debit cards or Net-banking

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