Kerala decides to waive off 25% of fixed electricity charges for 3 months for industrial consumers

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has decided to waive off 25% of the fixed electricity charges applicable to industrial consumers and private hospitals for the months of March, April and May. Further, a decision was taken to defer payment of the remaining amount (75%) till December this year, without levying any interest.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a press conference on May 22 had announced that directions have been issued to KSEB to provide relief on fixed electricity charges for the lockdown period and waive off interest for the deferred fixed charges.

The state electricity minister MM Mani in a meeting held on May 28, considered giving further relief to consumers in view of the chief minister’s directions. As per the earlier order, only a deferment was allowed for the payment of electricity charges for these months. The plan was to charge an interest rate of 12% on deferred payments. At that time, the industry had sought waiver on fixed charges but it was not granted.

The meeting chaired by the electricity minister also noted the hardship faced by domestic consumers due to the higher than normal bills received during the lockdown period. The minister said all complaints regarding this will be looked into in detail. After considering these difficulties, the meeting decided to provide an additional option to remit half of the bill amount at first and allow two instalments for the remaining amount.

In light of the new directions given by the government, KSEB has recommended passing on the benefits to the consumer in anticipation of a favourable order from Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) to make suitable modifications to low tension (LT), high tension (HT) and extra high tension (EHT) billing software.