Power Reforms: Govt Asks Distribution Companies To Consider Giving Direct Subsidy To Agricultural Consumers

Power Reforms: Govt Asks Distribution Companies To Consider Giving Direct Subsidy To Agricultural ConsumersA power grid in India. (Indranil Bhoumik/Mint via Getty Images).

The Union Power Ministry has recommended that the power distribution companies provide direct subsidies to agricultural consumers and kick off a transfer policy linked to performance for the staff that submit their respective action plans to get inducted in the central government’s Rs 3.03 lakh crore reforms scheme in the sector.

The initiative involves installing 250 million smart meters, 400,000 km of low tension overhead lines and 10,000 feeders.

The separation of the 10,000 feeders will be carried out through the 20,000 crores worth financial outlay of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyan scheme that targets solarizing all feeders and providing additional sources of income to farmers.

Discoms will have to secure a go-ahead from their state cabinets, following which a tripartite agreement will be signed between the state, discoms and the nodal agencies regarding the same.

The state power distribution firms will have to send in their applications with plans for loss reduction along with strengthening the network and enhancing the financial performance by 31 October. The measures for reform and the trajectories for every discom will be rounded up separately.

The indicative list of reforms suggested by the power ministry includes measures such as swift payment of electricity bills by government departments, direct benefit transfers (DBT), non-creation of regulatory assets, a roadmap to funding accumulated losses, and annual tariff revision, The Economic Times reports.