Centre urges states to give power to industry at fixed rates

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) The central government has asked all states to offer stable power to industries at a fixed rate over a long-term period in order to attract investments, parliament was told on Thursday.

“Industries need uninterrupted power. If we can guarantee power, investment will come for industries. Therefore, I would like to request all members to persuade their respective state governments to offer regular power to industries for a fixed rate like Rs 4, Rs 4.5 or Rs 5 per unit for 10 or 15 years,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), energy shortage countrywide was reduced to 2.1 per cent during 2015-16, which is the lowest in last two decades.

During the current fiscal between April-June, energy shortage has further reduced to 0.9 per cent, he said.

However, the CEA has observed that a demand-supply gap exists in states and union territories despite availability of adequate power in the country.

The reasons for this demand-supply gap are sub-transmission and distribution constraints, high aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C) and poor financial condition of state distribution companies (discoms) because of which they cannot procure required power from the market, Goyal said.

Meanwhile, Goyal on Thursday inaugurated the induction programme for Urban Vidyut Abhiyantas (UVAs), who are to be placed in the state discoms.

Patterned on lines of the Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVAs), who have helped to expedite the process of rural electrification, the role of UVAs will be to support the discoms in strengthening urban distribution and deepening IT initiatives in the sector.

Addressing the 48 inducted UVAs, who are all qualified electrical engineers, Goyal urged them to take forward the Integrated Power Development Scheme and monitor its implementation honestly.

“Your mission would be to clean up the system and make it corruption-free, to ensure things like the highest quality of equipment is used,” Goyal said.

–IANS

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