The Consumer Council has raised serious concerns over the delay in private companies bidding for 4G smart prepaid meters, as they have yet to provide the required three percent bank guarantee, even after two months. Despite a procurement worth Rs 25,000 crore being accepted, the lack of a three percent bank guarantee raises questions about the progress of these companies.
Private companies, having reduced the bank guarantee from 10% to 3%, are struggling to meet even this revised requirement. The Consumer Council has emphasized the importance of prompt action to ensure justice for both customers and the power department. Awadhesh Kumar Verma, President of the Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Consumer Council, highlighted the urgency of the situation.
Verma urged the Power Corporation to notify private companies about the limited availability of 4G technology and recommended the adoption of 5G technology meters. He expressed concern that if private companies fail to secure 3% bank guarantees in a timely manner, they might face challenges in fulfilling their commitments.
The larger issue at hand is the delay in meter tenders and the potential impact on procurement costs. Private companies have been offered the option of smart prepaid meters at increased costs, and the postponement of meter tenders raises questions about the rates at which these meters will be purchased. Verma called for transparency in the procurement process and raised questions about the awarding of meter tenders to private entities without clear information on pricing.
Impact on MSMEs and Businesses in Uttar Pradesh:
The delay and concerns raised by the Consumer Council could have ripple effects on MSMEs and businesses in Uttar Pradesh, particularly those involved in meter manufacturing. The uncertainty surrounding the procurement process and the potential shift to 5G technology meters may impact businesses’ planning and production strategies. MSMEs in the meter manufacturing sector could face challenges if there is a lack of clarity on rates and procurement timelines. It is crucial for the Power Corporation and private companies to address these concerns promptly to ensure a smooth and transparent procurement process, benefiting both businesses and consumers in Uttar Pradesh.