Friday, June 17, 2016
Why should DHBVN charge additional amount for making online payment/application for new connection?
Recently a news report was published in Navbharat Faridabad Times dtd. 13/06/2016 reporting that DHBVN (Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam) would be charging an additional amount of Rs. 50/- per application for online application for getting electricity connection. DHBVN has also been charging additional amount for making online payment of their electricity bills.
The author is of the opinion that such charging of additional amount as surcharge for onine application for electricity connection and online payment for electricity bills is ant-consumer practices as :
1. Online application reduces cost of service provider i.e DHBVN on account of stationary, engagement of manpower for interfacing with the consumer, data entry in computerising the application received besides stress on space and resources that may be due to personal visits of the applicant in case of manual submission of form and receiving payment for electricity bills
2. The online application and payment would supplement the efficiency of the service provider.
3. manual interaction reduces with the online operations.
4. It reduces on the pressure on staff for receiving application fee, electricity bills, accounting and depositing with banks and then tracking for its credit in the books.
5. Inculcating habits with the consumers for online transaction is a step towards digitisation and digitisation reduces the cost of operation and best utilisation of manpower which can be deployed elsewhere for efficient productivity.
6. Many operators in fact offers discounts for online transaction. The glaring example is of PSU telecom service operator BSNL. BSNL offers a discount of 1% on the bill amount if it is paid through the online payment gateways.
It is expected that DHBVN would withdraw charging of such additional fee for making online payment for Electricity bills and online submission of application for new electricity connection. Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) need to intervene in the matter.