Nothing new in it that while power supply is reduced to few hours during chilly months of winter in Kashmir now only two months away, the unprecedented delays by consumers in payment of power tariff bills and misuse of power by them are two main causes for the long duration power cuts during peak winter months in Kashmir Valley. Unfortunately the payment of power tariff bills does not remain unpaid for few months but it remains unpaid even for years together due to which the gaps between the income and expenditure are rising year after year. As such it is in the interests of power consumers themselves to pay the power tariffs in time. Fortunately the Jammu & Kashmir Government has announced amnesty for the defaulters whose liabilities have peaked to huge amounts which they can’t pay in one or two installment. So government’s one time”amnesty” allowing consumers to pay pending power tariff bills in installments is an attempt to reduce the increasing gapes between the income and expenditure. The pending tariff bills if paid generously by consumers will by all standards of understandabilities increase the income which can be utilised by Power Development Department for smoothening power supply during peak winter months in Kashmir Valley. It would be in the interests of the government to extend the amnesty for payment of pending power tariff bills to traders and business establishments also as they have suffered huge losses due to three consecutive Covid lockdowns during last three years of pandemic. Interestingly several leaders of business and trading communities have during their meetings with the concerned authorities of power development department sought waiver on power tariff bills in view of the losses the business establishments and trading outlets have suffered during three consecutive lockdowns in last three years of pandemic in both Kashmir and Jammu divisions.
Amnesty to traders if linked to timely payment of power tariff bills would also further the causes of timely payment of commercial power tariff bills in future. Amnesty is a good recovery plan if extended to commercial establishment also.
Never forget that disbursement of pending power tariff bills under an amnesty scheme similar to one given to domestic consumers would probably further reduce the gapes between the income and expenditure. Since the revival of economic activities for the purposes of income and employment generation in Jammu & Kashmir is also a priority for the government, there is no scope for delaying a decision on extending amnesty to traders also in payment of their pending power tariff bills. Amnesty to traders if linked to timely payment of power tariff bills would also further the causes of timely payment of commercial power tariff bills in future. Amnesty is a good recovery plan if extended to commercial establishment also.