As the deadline for roll-out of the 24X7 power supply nears, the Centre has proposed key reforms like legislative change to stop power distribution companies (Discoms) from arbitrarily resorting to loadshedding, a practice that has become rampant in recent years.
Once the proposed legislation is enacted, discoms will face penalty if they shed load without a valid reason.
Besides, discoms will have to bring down their commercial losses below 15% to achieve operational efficiency. There will be pressure on utilities to comply with the envisaged target as they would not be allowed to pass on extra losses to consumers. The idea is that honest consumers should not pay for power thieves.
The Centre has also proposed that cross-subsidy should be kept below 20% so that power supply does not become too expensive for industrial consumers. If the proposed reform is implemented, it would help improve the competitiveness of the Indian industry. This is badly needed given that growth in Indian exports has been quite sluggish. The lacklustre performance of the export sector is attributed to eroded competitiveness, especially in the labour-intensive sectors like textiles.
Most of the states are on board for these reforms. So, Centre’s new initiatives are welcome.
However, the real challenge lies in implementation. Under pressure from the Centre, states do commit to reforms but often go back on them.
Besides, there are technological challenges to establishing that load-shedding is arbitrary and not due to any technical reason. The challenge becomes even more daunting as state electricity regulatory commissions are often found doing the bidding of state government rather than act independently.
Posted By : Admin
Posted Date : 05-10-2018