While State energy minister Rajendra Shukla recently announced that Madhya Pradesh will be self sufficient in the energy sector by the end of 2013, the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board seems to be grappling with problems of its own.

According to official sources, the MPSEB has not disbursed salaries to its employees for the month of February.

“The salaries of the employees of all three DisComs have not been disbursed due to a shortage of funds,” Financial Advisor to the board A.M. Sajnani told The Hindu.

Top officials of the board confirmed that the salaries have not been disbursed but said that the problem would be solved soon.

“Yes the salaries have not been disbursed yet but it’s a temporary problem and will be taken care of over the next few working days,” said Sanjay Shukla, Chairman and Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh Madhya Kshetra Vidhyut Vitaran Company Ltd (MPMKVVCL).

“We had to take care of some pending loans and clear previous liabilities. Once that is done, the salaries will be disbursed,” he said.

While top officials dismissed it as a small problem, employees did not seem amused.

“This is not happening for the first time and is really frustrating,” said B.D. Gautam, Zonal Secretary of the Madhya Pradesh Vidhyut Mandal Karmchari Sangh (Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board workers union).

“The workers work hard to recover revenue but there is no incentive. If, even after working hard, our salaries are delayed by days, often weeks, how are we supposed to motivate ourselves?” he asked.

The Union leader complained that employee salaries were not the board’s priority. He also alleged there was no shortage of funds when the board had to replay pending loans and make payments to contractors.

“All the three DisComs-Western, Central and Eastern-collect revenue and send it to the board and after that it’s the board’s job is to decide whether paying its own employees is a priority issue for it?” asked Gautam.

“All we ask for is that revenues should be sent to the board after deducting the salaries of employees of the DisCom concerned,” he said.

The board has been in controversy earlier due to allegations of massive corruption against its Chairman Rakesh Sahni in multi-crore electricity purchase deals with the private firm Adani Enterprises last year.