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Improving Discoms’ Revenue Recovery During and After the PandemicA case study of MVVNL discom in Uttar Pradesh

Kanika Balani, Bharat Sharma, Shalu Agrawal
November 2020 | Power Sector

Suggested Citation: Balani, Kanika, Bharat Sharma, and Shalu Agrawal. 2020. Addressing Discoms’ Revenue Recovery Concerns During and After the Pandemic: A Case Study of MVVNL Discom in Uttar Pradesh. New Delhi: Council on Energy, Environment and Water.

Overview

This study discusses the systemic gaps in billing and collection operations of Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. (MVVNL), one of the power distribution companies (discoms) in Uttar Pradesh. It analyses how the COVID-19 lockdown aggravated these gaps. The study is based on findings from a telephonic survey of 300 randomly selected domestic consumers of MVVNL. Further, the study suggests measures to enhance billing and collection efficiency and discusses innovative revenue collection initiatives implemented by discoms in other states.

Key Highlights

  • Only 56 per cent of consumers reported that they received bills regularly; only 35 per cent of consumers received bills in April 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • The absence of updated consumer phone numbers in the billing database emerged as the primary reason for low receipt of bills.

Key factors contributing to billing inefficiencies in MVVNL

Source: Authors’ analysis based on consumer survey and interaction with discom officials

  • 23 per cent of consumers (mostly rural) have never made any payments since they received a power connection. About 90 per cent of such consumers have never received bills.
  • Less than 10 per cent of all consumers paid their bills for April 2020 (during the lockdown), and most of them were urban consumers.
  • Around 90 per cent of urban consumers, who paid their bills during the lockdown, used digital modes for payments.

Factors contributing to low receipt of bill payments

Source: Authors’ analysis based on consumer survey and interaction with discom officials

Key Recommendations

 
Less than 10 per cent of all consumers paid their bills for April 2020 (during the lockdown), and most of them were urban consumers.

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