Soon people will have 24-hour power supply. According to the Minister of Power, a new UDAY scheme is being prepared for power distribution companies. Know when the Uday 2 plan may come.
New Delhi: Power Minister RK Singh said on Wednesday that the plan to provide 24 hours power to all the seven days will soon become a reality. He said that in view of the steps being taken to improve the situation of distribution companies with adequate capacity for generation and transmission in the power sector, there will be no problem in the implementation of this scheme.
He also said that the UDAY scheme to improve power distribution companies is being revamped and it is likely to come in the current financial year. Speaking to ‘Bhasha’, Singh said, ‘The new tariff policy has been sent to the cabinet and it is expected to be approved soon. In this, among other things, we are going to make provision of providing 24 hours power to the customers seven days a day. Distribution companies will not be able to cut power except for natural calamities or technical reasons and in doing so, distribution companies will have to pay penalty to customers.
Regarding the infrastructure attached to it, he said, ‘We have enough power generation capacity. We have sufficient transmission capacity through which electricity can be sent from one end to another. There is some problem at the level of distribution companies, which we are working to overcome.
Singh said, ‘We have made a system of letter of credit regarding purchase of electricity mandatory for distribution companies from August 1 this year. Also, we are asking them to reduce technical and commercial (AT&C) losses. If their loss exceeds a certain limit, then they will not be allowed to raise electricity rates on this basis. We are also linking it with grants and loans.
He said that the improvement in the power sector will be accomplished only when the distribution companies are financially better. According to sources, the new tariff policy provides that if the distribution companies are incurring more than 15 percent technical and commercial (AT&C) losses, they will not be allowed to raise electricity tariffs on this basis.
About the Uday Yojana, he said, ‘We are bringing changes in the Uday Yojana. Under this, the funds given to the power sector to the states which do not follow the performance standards will be cut. The Center launched the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) in November 2015 to bring debt-ridden power distribution companies back on track in terms of financial and operational matters.
Singh said, ‘We have planned the second round of reforms in the power distribution sector. Uday is being changed under this. Shared the draft with the states in this regard. We are going to add the features of Uday Yojana, Deendayal Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) to it.
In response to a question, he said that it (Uday-2) could come in the current financial year. It is noteworthy that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in the budget speech for 2019-20, “The government is assessing the performance of the UDAY scheme and we will bring further improvements in it.”
Talking about the growth in the power sector, he said that we have added 2.64 crore new customers (under Saubhagya scheme) in the last one and a half years. Apart from this, there is also a good growth of about seven percent in demand.
It is to be noted that in the first quarter of the current financial year, where the economic growth rate was at a six-year low of 5 percent and the growth rate of the manufacturing sector was 0.6 percent, the power sector (electricity and power generation) registered a growth of 8.6 percent.