The Ministry of Power under Piyush Goyal had launched Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) in 2015. The aim was to find a permanent solution to the financial mess that government-owned electricity distribution companies found themselves in.
The scheme has now started making a difference, reported The Economic Times today (4 March), and is moving towards realising its objective of a financial turnaround and a revival of DISCOMs, which have only accumulated debt over the past decades.
According to the report, the scheme has been adopted in 22 states and has helped DISCOMs there come out of the debt trap. Rajasthan, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Punjab have emerged as the big gainers.
Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam in Haryana, as Swarajya reported earlier, has eliminated losses for the first time ever since its establishment. The DISCOM, which had reported losses of more than Rs 2,088 crore in 2014, registered a profit of Rs 78 crore. In Rajasthan, DISCOMs have projected a saving of Rs 4,697 crore.
Another major achievement is the announcement of power tariffs in 18 of the 22 states, which means they are maintaining financial viability. The Finance Ministry has allowed 12 of the 22 member states to issue bonds worth Rs 194,681.49 crore to alleviate the debt crisis.
The daily quoted an official as saying,
With coal rationalisation and import substitution, NTPC has been able to achieve savings of 32 paise/unit. Even considering coal price hike, increase in clean energy cess & railway freight, there is a net benefit of 6.5 paise/unit.
The ministry has taken other initiatives to restore the financial viability of these DISCOMs too, primarily by making their operations more efficient through training and streamlining of the bureaucratic red-tape. When UDAY was launched, there was ample scepticism about the scheme being yet another attempt to recapitalise loss-making businesses with no accountability. Its success seems to have alleviated some concerns.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.