Budget 2021 Power Sector: Gas Pipeline Through J&K; Consumers To Have Choice Among Discoms; Push To Hydrogen Energy

Budget 2021 Power Sector: Gas Pipeline Through J&K; Consumers To Have Choice Among Discoms; Push To Hydrogen EnergyFM Nirmala Sitharaman (file photo)

As part of her Budget 2021-22 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 3.05 lakh crore outlay for the power sector.

She announced a new gas pipeline project for Jammu and Kashmir and added that 100 more cities will be added in the next 3 years to the gas distribution network.

According to Indian Express report, the government is planning to create a framework to give consumers alternatives to choose from more than one power distribution company. The move is towards launching a "revamped", reforms-based, result-linked power distribution sector scheme.

Discoms across the country are monopolies, whether government or private, said the minister. There is a need to provide a choice to the consumer, she added.

The scheme is expected to provide assistance to discoms for infrastructure creation tied to financial improvements, including prepaid smart metering, feeder separation and upgradation of systems, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The move is aimed at offering competition at operator level and more choice to consumers, along with better efficiency levels in the distribution sector.

Reportedly, the past six years have seen a number of reforms and achievements in the country's power sector, including the addition of 139 GW of installed capacity, connection of an additional 2.8 crore houses and addition of 1.41 lakh circuit kilometres of transmission lines.

The FM also announced a boost to renewable energy sector with Rs 1,000 crore to solar energy corporation and Rs 1,500 to renewable energy development agency.

She also announced a hydrogen energy mission for generating hydrogen out of green-powered sources.