Programmes to reduce Power Losses below 15% by March 2019 in all States on track, says Union Power Ministe
rConsensus among States on Ending Human Interface in billing process; Mandatory installation of Prepaid/Smart Meters to prevent corruption and increase compliance in Bill payments
States to ensure Cross Subsidization in Power Sector remains below 20%
Power Distribution to be brought about through an amendment to Electricity Act
Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri Raj Kumar Singh, chaired a Conference of Power and Energy Ministers of States/ Union Territories (UTs), held here today. A total of 17 States and 1 UT attended the Conference and deliberated on a host of issues including progress on Union Government flagship schemes at the State level and reform measures that need to be brought about at both Union and State levels to ensure 24×7 Affordable and Quality Power for All.
Addressing the media, Shri Singh clearly laid out Union Government’s Vision behind holding this Conference. The Minister made very clear that 24×7 Power is a Fundamental Right of every citizen of the country and all States will have to ensure that by March 2019. The States have arrived at consensus-based roadmap to bring down losses in State Utilities/ DISCOMS to below 15% by then and any gratuitous load shedding by them after that deadline would attract penalties. “There can be no justification to pass on the burden of our inefficiency to the consumer and this shall not be allowed post March 2019. It is for the Power Utilities to devise strategy to reduce their losses, the consumer must not be burdened with high power tariffs irrationally”, the Minister added.
Government of India is providing funds to the States under ongoing Central Government schemes of over Rs. 85000 crores, for strengthening their power infrastructure. As the Country is power surplus presently, the States are now in a position to provide 24×7 power for all, which should be a primary obligation of the State Utilities, provided that the consumer pays for the power consumed, Shri Singh said. “It has been observed that some States are not able to bill the consumers effectively and are losing about 50% of the expected recoveries. Where the consumers are billed properly, the recovery is around 95%”, the Minister added.
Further, the Minister added that, to help the poor power consumers, the government is pushing for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of subsidy in power sector. This would make the industry more competitive and the burden of excessively high tariffs will be taken away from the consumers.
Ministers from the States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and UT of Puducherry were present during the Conference with their senior officers. Other dignitaries present were Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Secretary Power, along with other senior officers of the Ministry.