Govt proposes to link power infra upgradation funds with reforms

The Central government proposed to again discipline state power utilities by linking funds under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) with credible reforms by way of time-bound reduction in losses and ensuring uniform metering.
Govt proposes to link power infra upgradation funds with reforms

New Delhi

Power Minister R.K. Singh told state energy ministers on Friday that a new scheme will soon be announced after merging the DDUGJY and the IPDS that will make Centre's funding to states conditional. The states or UTs whose distribution companies (discoms) are not in loss will have no problem in getting the funds but the states/UTs whose discoms are in loss will have to give a proper plan as to how they are going to eliminate the losses to get funds.
The minister added that State/UT governments will get some flexibility in the new scheme to enable them to plan according to their specific needs. He said that despite central funds to improve the infrastructure in power sector, the same situation keeps repeating itself due to lack of non-adherence to loss reductions trajectory.
That is why adhering to new scheme to link the funding to the reforms is proposed, he said.
The DDUGJY's objectives include separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders, strengthening and augmenting sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas and rural electrification, while the IPDS' objective is 24x7 power supply for consumers, reduction of AT&C losses and providing access to all households.
During the meeting, state Energy Ministers asked the Centre for extension of the discom liquidity scheme of Rs 90,000 crore announced earlier to cover for losses upto June 30. In the current shape, the scheme covers discom dues to generators upto March 31, 2020.
Singh said that the states' request will be considered.
In the second session of the video conference, issues of New and Renewable Energy were discussed. The Minister said that they were planning to launch a new variant on KUSUM Scheme in which the feeders to the agriculture sector will be solarised. It will eliminate the burden of subsidy on state governments for irrigation in next 3-4 years.
Singh also highlighted the need of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan in the power sector. He said that the country's import bill for power equipment was around Rs 71,000 crore, including imports of Rs 20,000 crore from China, in 2018-19 even when it had manufacturing facility & ability for various requirements of the power sector.
Noting that the power sector being strategic and essential in nature is vulnerable to cyber attacks, he said that imported equipment will therefore be subjected to testing  to check influx of malwares like Trojan etc. He also stressed that it should be our sincere endeavour to promote manufacturing of power infrastructure equipments within the country.

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