Shimla: Despite the decision of the Himachal government, the producers generating electricity under the jurisdiction of the state are not ready to pay water cess.
Recently, even in the meeting with the committee headed by the Energy Secretary constituted by the state government, the power producers of all three categories were not ready to pay the water cess.
The surprising thing is that the power producers did not even give suggestions on reducing the rate of water cess. The meeting was chaired by Energy Secretary Rajeev Sharma. All 172 power producers were called for this meeting.
The corporation of the Punjab government, which is handling the Shanan power project, also attended the meeting.
The Public Sector Undertaking companies of the Central Government like SJVN, NHPC, etc. only told the State Government that they all agree with the letter received from the Government of India against the water cess and will work as per the instructions of the Government of India.
Independent power producers running big projects in Himachal also said that the matter is sub-judice and the decision of the court should be awaited.
Water cess will not be paid until the court decides. After this the remaining small power producers.
On the basis of the Uttarakhand formula, he said that why this cess was imposed on small power projects? Does the Government of Uttarakhand also refund it?
Their another argument was that many projects are generating more water cess than the rate at which the electricity board buys power. In such a situation this project will become unviable.
Everyone opposed it in one voice. However, a case is pending in the High Court on June 28 in this matter and what happens to this case? Only after this the government will take the next step.
Salary of the chairperson and four members fixed
On Wednesday, there is a hearing of the case related to water cess in the High Court, on the other hand, just before this, the notification for the formation of the Water Cess Commission has been issued by the state government. A chairperson and four members are being appointed in this.
The salary of the chairperson has been fixed at Rs 135,000, while the members will get Rs 120,000. If a serving officer comes on these posts, then payment will be made by the formula of the last salary minus pension.