" --IANS"
Shimla, Jan 4 - The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on Thursday approved settling over half a century old electricity arrears with Punjab and Haryana in three Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) projects in compliance with a Supreme Court order in terms of differential energy return.

The differential energy quantum of 13,066 million units would fetch Rs 3,266 crore to the state at an average rate of Rs 2.50 per unit, an official statement said.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur presided over the cabinet meeting which also approved negotiations with both the neighbouring states for payment of the entire differential energy within 10 to 12 years.

It also agreed for negotiations towards payment of liability of Rs 111.53 crore as computed by the Central government in its affidavit in equal annual instalments during the period of return of power.

In case Punjab and Haryana insist for repayment with interest, Himachal Pradesh will go in for return of power with a premium of six per cent and with no further additional liability for receiving this differential energy of 13,066 million units, said the statement.

The Cabinet approved the proposal of Punjab and Haryana on return of differential power from October 1 to March 31 owing to their constraints of paddy harvest season and also the requirement of Himachal Pradesh during winter months in public interest.

The Supreme Court had raised Himachal's share to 7.19 per cent of the power generated by the projects -- Bhakra, Beas (Dehar) and Beas (Pong) -- against the 2.5 per cent it was earlier getting.

In its order on September 27, 2011, it had upheld the hills state's claim and directed compensation for denial of the state's legitimate share from November 1, 1966.

--IANS

vg/him/vd


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