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Web Exclusive | February 2018

Power Minister wants states to cut discom losses

Union Power and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh has asked all states to bid out loss-making areas of electricity distribution companies (discoms) to frachisees. The minister has sent letters to power ministers of states seeking immediate actions to cut down on financial losses of distribution companies. The minister has suggested that all feeders, transformers and consumers be metered and asked the state governments to do away with human interface in metering, billing and collection of electricity dues through implementation of smart prepaid meters. While large consumers can be billed on postpaid basis, their meters should be made remotely readable, he said. Singh has also suggested that executive engineers, superintendent engineers, chief engineers and chairpersons of discoms should monitor feeder-wise progress every month. Singh has also said that the national tariff policy is proposed to be amended to cap the amount of technical losses that can be passed onto power consumers to 15% from January 1, 2019. "There is no justification for the consumers to be asked to bear the cost of inefficiency and theft. The technical losses generally vary from 2.5% to 6.5%. There is no reason for any losses beyond that," he said. The minister has also asked the states to ensure that cross subsidy of more than 20% is not charged from industrial consumers and introduce differential tariffs for power consumption during peak and non-peak hours.
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