Vehicle misuse: KSEB Officers' Assn leader yet to compensate Rs 6.7 lakh loss

Representational image.

Thiruvananthapuram: KSEB Officers' Association leader M G Suresh Kumar has been raising objections without paying the Board Rs 6,72,560, the loss he had caused to the public sector undertaking by misusing its vehicle.

Though the Board chairman had served Kumar a notice asking the latter to compensate for the loss, he had not yet made the payment, Minister for Electricity K Krishnankutty told the State Assembly. He has raised objections, which were being examined, the minister added.

It was found that Kumar, currently posted as executive engineer at the Electrical Division Office in Perinthalmanna, misused the Board's vehicle for personal purposes while he was the assistant secretary to M M Mani, former minister for electricity.

The notice was served on Kumar after the KSEB vigilance wing submitted a probe report.

Minister Krishnankutty also informed the House that as of March 31, 2022, government and public sector institutions had not cleared power dues of Rs 1,352 crore. The Kerala Water Authority's dues stood at Rs 996.90 crore.

The minister admitted to mismatch between the Board's multi-year tariff estimate for the period 2022-23 to 2026-27 submitted to the Regulatory Commission and its budget estimate for the financial year 2022-23.

While the budget indicated a profit of Rs 496 crore, the revenue deficit according to annual recurring revenue was Rs 2,852 crore. The minister justified the mismatch saying that they were prepared for different purposes using divergent yardsticks.

The Board has received applications for generating 19.8 megawatt of power under the domestic rooftop solar scheme subsidy scheme. The scheme, being rolled out with ANERT's assistance, has been aiming at generating 25 megawatt of power.

The minister also informed the Assembly that solar power plants would be set up in government institutions and public sector undertakings on consultancy and deposit basis.

KSEB to tighten purse strings

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Electricity Board has rolled out a slew of cost-cutting measures following a directive by the Minister for Electricity K Krishnankutty.

The Board would confine the inauguration of projects less than Rs 3 crore to the cutting of ribbon by the chief engineer, rather than holding a grand event.

Among other austerity measures, the Board would postpone projects that could be temporarily put on hold during the financial years 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25. The public utility service provider has also been instructed to ensure that the project estimate did not exceed.

Strict restrictions would be imposed on the creation of new posts, purchase of vehicles and construction of office buildings. Official conferences should be held online. The decision to buy vehicles for officers, too, would be deferred.

New buildings should not be granted administrative sanctions until further orders. The State's share for central projects would be slashed by 15 per cent during the current financial year. Land phones that were not frequently used over the past three years would be taken back from the offices.

Incidentally, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission has also told the KSEB to cut costs to improve its profit.

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