MSEDCL to return due amount of Rs 376 crore to customers soon

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Sep 2017 10:13:40


Staff Reporter,

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has clarified that it would soon return the due amount of Rs 376 crore to its customers after completion of Audit and approval from Board of Directors. The statement of State owned power company to deflect criticism from Maharashtra Veej Grahak Sanghatana at delaying release of payment to customers even aftermath of orders by Supreme Court where MSEDCL challenge was rejected.

MSEDCL contended that in year 2005, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) had approved company's supply standards and stipulations. Thereafter, the company filed petition before MERC seeking approval for collection of Schedule of Charges on which on September 2006, the Commission only struck down the condition about collection of service line charges from new customers.

The statement from distribution company has listed the step-by-step procedure to indicate there is no deliberate delay on its part in refund of the excess charges to consumers.

Aggrieved by MERC's unfavorable order MSEDCL went into appeal to Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) but here to the distribution company lost the case. Not the one to agree with Regulators, MSEDCL approached Supreme Court in year 2007. But Apex Court on November 10, 2016, sided with consumers and rejected the appeal filed by MSEDCL. The order came on May 17, 2017, and MERC again conducted the hearing on the said application on three counts. On August 2007, MSEDCL was directed to refund the excess amount collected from consumers but since the matter was subjudice, Supreme Court granted a stay on its execution.

MSEDCL had collected excess charges under Dedicated Distribution Facility (DDF), Outright Contribution Charges (ORC) and (ORC-P) though it was rejected first by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). The company went into appeal to Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) which too sided with consumers and directed MSEDCL to forthwith release the excess charges. MERC informed MSEDCL that Supreme Court has rejected the company's contention and it should obey the order and refund the amount collected under heads of SLC, ORC and meter cost. The MSEDCL's contention is that total charges under the three heads comes to just Rs. 376 crores while Sanghatana has claimed that refund of Rs. 800 crores are pending.

MSEDCL however has further clarified that Rs. 376 crores is not the final amount but approximate and as part of dues, the meter cost was refunded to some consumers. Hence post Audit the picture would be clear and a proposal would be tabled for approval before company's Board of Director. The consumers who have deposited the extra amount as demanded by MSEDCL would need to submit original receipt to get the refund, informs the release issued here.