Shunglu panel report on power distribution companies by Sept

New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

The Power Minister, Mr Sushilkumar Shinde (centre), with the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and the Minister of State for Power, Mr K.C. Venugopal, during a meeting of Power Ministers in the Capital onWednesday. —Photo: Ramesh Sharma

Govt has ‘limited ability' to bail out distribution utilities

The Shunglu Committee, which is reviewing the financial position of the country's power distribution utilities, is expected to submit its report by September, the Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, said here on Wednesday.

This is at a time when mounting distribution losses in the sector are estimated at upwards of Rs 70,000 crore.

‘Limited ability'

Mr Ahluwalia said on the sidelines of an industry event that the Government has “limited ability” to bail out distribution utilities in the States in light of the mounting losses.

“The committee will submit its report sometime in August or September,” Mr Ahluwalia said at the State Power Ministers' Conference on Distribution Sector Reforms.

The high-level committee is chaired by former Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr V.K. Shunglu.

The committee's terms of reference include a review of the accounts of State electricity boards and power distribution companies (discoms).

The panel is also looking into the financial health of the discoms, apart from reviewing electricity tariffs.

Mr Singh said the report will be sent to the Power Minister as well as all Chief Ministers.

Devise turnaround plan

At the conference, the Power Minister, Mr Sushilkumar Shinde, called upon the States to take effective steps to ameliorate the poor financial condition of power distribution utilities.

In his inaugural address, Mr Shinde urged the State power ministers to take stock of the situation in their States, devise a utility-wise turnaround plan and monitor its implementation at the highest level before the situation becomes “unsustainable”.

Published on July 13, 2011

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