Dipen Agrawal, President of Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry & Trade (CAMIT) called upon Dr. Nitin Raut the cabinet minister for energy and power in Government of Maharashtra to upraise him with the hardship faced by the electricity consumers in general and SME & traders in particular.
At the outset Dipen Agrawal welcomed Dr. Raut and on behalf of the trading community of the State congratulated him for the timely steps taken by the Government of Maharashtra to contain second wave of covid-19 virus in our State. Agrawal informed that after interactions with constituents of CAMIT it is learnt that the SME and small & marginal traders are facing hardship at the hands of electricity distribution companies.
The business community, except the sectors permitted to operate under Break the Chain order issued time to time, abiding with the directions have restricted their operations without giving second thought on cascading adverse effect on their business. They have kept their establishments closed for about two months. During these times of crisis DISCOM companies are raising energy bills on average basis; the energy bills are delivered beneath the closed shutters; with statutory warning that non-payment within due date shall attract interest, penalty and disconnection.
Agrawal further said that the SME sector and small & marginal traders are under catch-22 situation. They are duty bound to keep their establishment closed to help administration in faltering the curve of second wave of Covid-19. On one hand they are exposed to the risk of interest, penalty and power disconnection by DISCOMs for non-payment and on other hand they are exposed to hefty penalty and punishment of closure of their shops till pandemic persist by local authorities, if they open their establishment.
Dipen Agrawal requested Dr. Raut to direct DISCOM companies to – Raise energy bills on actual units consumed; Waive fixed charge (Demand Charges) for industries for the lockdown period; Waive interest and penalty for delayed payment of energy charges; Allow payment of energy bills in instalments, and there should be no temporary or permanent disconnection of any consumer for non-payment or delayed payment during the lockdown period.
Agrawal expressed his gratitude towards Dr. Nitin Raut for the patient hearing and assurance to take sympathetic decision in the matter to boost morale and confidence of the trade, industry and small businesses, informs a press release issued by Sanjay K. Agrawal, Vice President of CAMIT.