Power Minister discusses new ‘reforms-linked distribution sector’ scheme with the States/UTs

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 23, 2021

Funding under the scheme will be released based on progress in operational and financial improvements in discoms, says RK Singh

Power, New and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh on Friday said that the new reforms-linked distribution sector scheme has been designed as a bottom-up scheme and the discoms/States are empowered to prepare their own detailed project reports (DPRs) based on their need assessments prioritising the loss reduction works.

In a virtual meeting held with the States’ Energy Ministers, Singh highlighted that the modernisation works such as system augmentation, renovation and modernisation of substations can also be carried out by discoms under this scheme.

The States Power Ministers informed the Minister that they were preparing their plans according to the timeline. Singh advised that the plan should address the weakness in the system, and it should take into account the increasing demands. He stated that the plan should take into account what the demand will be in 10 years down the line. He added that the system needed to be modernised.

Singh underlined that funding under the scheme will be released based on progress in operational and financial improvements in discoms. He elaborated that that loss reduction by discoms is not a difficult task and in order to reduce losses, they need to focus on improving billing efficiency, enhancing collection efficiency, ensuring timely payment for electricity consumption by Government departments and fixing tariffs reflective of actual cost of supply and the State Government making timely payment of Subsidy if they want to give electricity at lower rates.

Smart meters

The minister highlighted another important element of the scheme that it envisages prioritisation of 10 crore smart meters in all Government Departments and offices, Amrut cities, all UTs, high loss areas, commercial and industrial consumers other than agricultural consumers in TOTEX mode. He said that sufficient funds are available under the scheme, and with planning and sincerity in implementation, an operationally efficient and financially sustainable electricity distribution sector can be developed, to meet the aspirations of citizens of the country.”

Further, Singh also exhorted the ministers to encourage their States to avail benefits of the PM-KUSUM scheme for solarisation of agricultural feeders. With solarisation of agriculture feeders, electricity can be made available to farmers during day time free or at very low price from day one. States would save a huge amount of subsidy being paid by them towards electricity consumption in the agriculture sector. Further, rooftop solar may also be encouraged to meet the increasing demand in an environmentally friendly manner, the release further added.

Published on September 23, 2021

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