The central government said to stop accepting electricity bill payments in cash and move to digital mode, a move that can be giant leap towards a cashless economy as power worth lakhs of crores in consumed every year. We should start a cashless economy to grow our India, the union power ministry has told state distribution companies to introduce and strengthen online and digital payment mechanism, to begin with in urban areas and gradually to all electricity consumers, power secretary P K Pujari told ET.
Data available with the central Electricity Authority showed that 11,34,631 million units of Electricity was supplied across states during April 2016 and March this year. Shifting to an efficient digital payment mechanism could generate Rs. 3, 40,389 crore, going by a conservative estimate of Rs. 3 per unit tariff. The main money collection in the power sector is through distribution companies. We have asked the states to take measures so that consumers pay through e- payments as far as possible, which could be through net banking, debit cards or credit cards, Pujari said.
The power ministry will deliberate on ways to promote cashless electricity bills payment in a meeting this week. Power minister piyush Goyal is scheduled to meet power minister of all states in Delhi in a two-day conference on Wednesday. The move to- Wards e-payment of electricity bills is in sync with recommendation of the committee of chief ministers on digital payments headed by N Chandrababu Naidu to switch all government sections like insurance, educational institutes, fertilisers, electricity and petroleum to digital payments. Pujari said the move was in the interest of a cash-
Less economy as well as for efficient electricity bill collection.
The power ministry’ s Urja portal showed that in urban areas mapped by the in urban areas mapped by the Integrated power development Scheme for IT enablement, 12.4% of electricity consumers made digital payments for electricity bills. This was a quantum jump from 8.6% digital payments made in October 2016.