All power distribution firms to make money by 2019: Goyal

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said power distribution companies, now in a state of disarray, can get their financial health back if state governments adopt the scheme approved by the union cabinet.

“I am confident that before 2019, every discom (power distribution company) in this country will be making profits,” he said at the Power Focus Summit 2016 here.

The minister said that as far as discoms were concerned, his bigger thrust was on operational efficiency rather than financial profits.

“I believe we cannot burden the people of India with tariff increases indiscriminately.”

Goyal also said that the government had fixed a target of electrifying 7,000 un-electrified villages by the end of the current fiscal on March 31.

“The village electrification target for 2015-16 was 2,800 villages, which I set to 5,800. Now my officials told me they would be able to electrify 7,000 villages by March end. I’m sure we would be able to achieve this target.

“The figure, as we speak, of villages that have already been electrified is 5,542, that’s one-third of the total. There are another 1,390 villages where electrification work is done, they are under energization,” he said.

“Officials have themselves fixed their target to electrify 7,000 villages by March end. I’m sure that we would be able to achieve this target.”

Referring to the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY), Goyal hoped that more states would join the discoms’ debt restructuring scheme.

“The agreements signed with the states specify the timelines and the reduction in losses to be achieved. The central government will monitor their work very religiously. I am sure more states including Kerala and Karnataka will join UDAY.”

Bihar became the sixth state to sign the Uday MoU earlier this week.

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