Pune: Vishwas Pathak, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Maharashtra state media chief and former director of the state electricity board said that the state government should provide a subsidy of Rs 6,000 crore to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) amid the lockdown. Pathak has also remarked that just as the proposal to sanction the purchase of vehicles for the ministers and officials was approved in a jiffy, the proposal to grant a subsidy to MSEDCL should be approved as soon as possible.
Pathak who is an energy expert said, “People have received huge amount of electricity bills and this has made a dissatisfaction amongst the people in the state. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government is seen dragging its feet rather than giving prompt relief to the consumers. A meeting of the government's group of ministers was held recently.”
Pathak sarcastically remarked “The Energy Minister Dr Nitin Raut once again showed his pearls of wisdom. The government will provide assistance to MSEDCL as a subsidy, which will benefit 93 per cent of the consumers, the energy minister had mentioned. The proposal will have to be sent to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) for approval he had mentioned. It is rather surprising that the Energy minister should not know that the government does not need any permission of MERC to give grants to MSEDCL and to pass on those grants to consumers.”
He went on, “MSEDCL customers pay an average of Rs 70,000 crore a year through bills, so today, in their time of need, the government should at least provide one month's revenue that is Rs 6,000 crore as a subsidy, then only can the consumers will heave a sigh of relief.”