Power billing to be outsourced


Power Minister Milind Naik on Friday said that State government would outsource the work of electricity meter reading and billing to a private concern to speed up the process of issuing bills to consumers, overcome staff shortage and streamlining the process. 
Naik said that the government will float a tender within eight days to invite bids from private parties and in the long term use technology to hasten billing.
 “The outsourcing will also help the department in putting all systems in place thereby avoiding billing errors,” he said while responding to a question raised by Bicholim MLA Naresh Sawal.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar also assured the House that government will make a provision wherein consumers from financially weaker sections, who are issued bills all at one time, would be allowed to pay the bills in installments. They will have to just approach Chief Electricity Engineer, he said.
Sawal pointed out that the power bills are been issued by the department once in two to three months and it become difficult for the poor to pay these bills at once.
Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte also opined that delay in dispatching of bills was burdening the common man.
Naik admitted that the department has been struggling with issuing bills to consumers, and that consumers in some villages get bills after four or even five months.  He said that there are several reasons responsible for delay in billing including shortage of manpower.  [H]