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24x7 Power Is A Fundamental Right; All States To Ensure By March’19 : Power Minister

SHAHNAWAZ | 0
717
| } December 7 , 2017 , 20:32 IST

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh, chaired a Conference of Power and Energy Ministers of States & Union Territories 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 24x7 Affordable and Quality Power for All.

Addressing the media, the Minister made very clear that 24x7 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.

During the Inaugural Session of the Conference, Singh said that Power is at the core of economic growth of the country. “Without power there can be no development; we are on our way towards becoming a developed country and power reforms are top priority. Industrialization and job creation is not possible without affordable and quality power for all. We are about to add 40 million new consumers by December 2018 and expected economic growth of 8 to 9% in the next 5 years, power demand would increase manifold. Further, electricity will edge out other forms of energy in the coming future, as it is more efficient and easy to transport”, the Minister said.

 

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 24x7 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.