Shimla: Amidst the ongoing case in the High Court, Himachal government has issued notice of water cess of Rs 871 crore to 173 power-generating companies. This notice was given by the Water Cess Commission.
This water cess bill is for five months from March 2023 to July 2023. It has been said in the notice that within the next 10 days the companies should deposit this money in the bank accounts given by the Water Cess Commission.
Energy companies have also been given the option to choose three installments till December 2023 to make this payment.
It is noteworthy that Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu’s government in the state had decided to impose water cess on water used for power generation and a formal law has been made for this.Many Government of India undertakings have gone to the High Court against this decision.
Although 135 out of 173 power companies had registered themselves with the Water Cess Commission, the Government of India is stopping the PSUs from paying the money as per the decision of the State Government and this decision is also being opposed in the High Court.
Even during the last hearing, the Central Government had told the court that it wants to fight this case in the Supreme Court. However, there has been no further discussion till now. Here, the state government wants to earn Rs 2000 crore additional revenue every year through water cess.
If a bill of Rs 871 crore is being made for five months, then this much money is also expected to come in one year. Despite the matter going to the High Court, the power companies have not yet received any immediate relief or stay.
This is the biggest reason why the state government issued these bills after the formation of the Water Cess Commission. Before this, the rate of water cess was also halved. Now it is twice that of Uttarakhand.
Himachal Government has enacted Himachal Pradesh Watercess Hydro Power Generation Act 2023 to impose water cess. This has been challenged by the public sector companies in the Himachal High Court.