To boost cashless economy as well as to render electricity bill payment system effective and efficient, State Power distribution companies have been asked to stop accepting electricity bill payment in cash. In India, power amounting to as much as lakhs of crore is consumed on an annual basis.
The move towards digital payments makes sense for the power distribution companies as then the industry will be rendered more transparent in terms of its finances and enhance attendant tracking. Pujari, Power secretary has been quoted in one of the business dailies reports stating "We have asked the States to take measures so that consumers pay through e-payments as far as possible, which could be through net banking, debit cards or credit cards".
To discuss on ways to introduce as well as strengthen the adoption of e-payment mode by consumers Piyush Goel- Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable energy and Mines is slated to meet Power Ministers of all states in a two day conference starting today. In the near future all sections under the government's ambit shall be moved to digital payments mode including electricity, educational institutes, insurance, petroleum and fertilizers as per the recommendations of Chandrababu Naidu, Head of Committee on Digital Payments in India.
Pujari also asked discoms to engage in mapping power consumers, their consumption pattern in addition to other details to better make collections through the online channel. Urja Portal under the Power Ministry highlights that in urban areas only 12.4% power consumers paid their electricity bills via digital or online mode. However this is a substantial increase over and above the 8.6% digital electricity bill payments in October 2016.
As per one of the leading Business dailies report, Punjab, Haryana Tamil Nadu and Telangana have topped the list of states making electricity bill payments via digital mode.