The Power Department of Meghalaya continues to face challenges as the Minister-in-charge revealed on Wednesday that the State has an outstanding debt of Rs 665 crores, of which the government will initially pay Rs 565 crores to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
Initially, the outstanding bill was Rs 244 crores, but due to delayed payment, it has now escalated to Rs 665 crores, as informed by the Power Minister, AT Mondal on Wednesday. He also mentioned that half of this amount was covered by the government through the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
Mondal stated, ‘Over time, the initial dues of Rs 244 crores escalated due to fixed charges, late payment charges, penalties, and other fees, reaching an approximate total of 665 crores. Concerned that this escalating debt would soon surpass 1,000 crores, creating a significant burden for both MEPDCL and the state government, negotiations with NTPC were reinitiated.’
‘We were concerned that if this trend continued, the debt could exceed 1,000 crores, putting a heavy burden on both MEPDCL and the state government,’ he added.
After subsequent negotiations and numerous meetings, an agreement was reached. NTPC agreed to accept a reduced payment of Rs 565 crores instead of the higher amount. However, the terms of payment specified that it would be made in 20 instalments. This posed a financial challenge for MEPDCL, which was already grappling with financial constraints.
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