State Government Departments Owe Rs 41,700 Crore To Discoms: Power Minister
Unidentified emissions from a coal-fired power plant escape. (Photographer: Natalie Behring/Bloomberg News)

State Government Departments Owe Rs 41,700 Crore To Discoms: Power Minister

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Union Power Minister RK Singh on Tuesday said in the Rajya Sabha that state government departments owe about Rs 41,700 crore to power distribution companies and asked states to ensure payments are made on time.

The minister also informed that aggregate technical and commercial losses have come down to about 18 percent from 22 percent.

"As a result of Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana, some improvement has happened. The losses in aggregate technical and commercial have come down from 22 percent to about 18 percent. So there has been some progress, though the progress could have been better," Singh said.

The minister said the Centre would work together with states to bring down losses of power discoms, which are with state governments. He said most of the discoms are filing revision in tariff on time to take care of inflation and rising input cost.

"Barring one or two discoms, most of them have filed on time. Although in many cases, revision has not taken place," he said. The minister attributed the losses in discoms to theft, inefficiencies in billing and collection by distribution companies, and government departments not paying their dues on time.

"Total dues against government departments of states is Rs 41,700 crore and loss (of discoms) in 2018-19 is Rs 27,000 crore. I have written to states, they must make sure that the government departments pay on time," Singh said.

He said the government announces subsidy for various categories of people and this subsidy should be paid upfront to distribution companies. However, he said, the states do not follow this rule and pay partial subsidy amount.

To reduce losses of discoms, the minister said states have been asked to adopt smart pre-paid metres in the next three years, and informed that 7.5 lakh such metres have been installed in Uttar Pradesh.

State government departments should also install smart pre-paid metres, he said.

Also read: Power Ministry Unveils Norms For Allocating Coal Linkage To Plants Without Purchase Agreements

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