Insight Online News
New Delhi, July 30 : Expressing concern over mounting dues to power producers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked state governments to clear their pending dues.
Participating in a Power Ministry event, Modi said that various states together owe more than Rs 1 lakh crore to power generation companies (Gencos). Further, he said that government departments and local bodies have dues of over Rs 60,000 crore to power distribution companies (discoms).
“Even the subsidies committed by state governments on power are not paid to these companies on time. These dues are also in excess of Rs 75,000 crore. Therefore, nearly Rs 2.5 lakh crore of these companies tasked to produce and supply power is stuck,” Modi said.
“I urge all the state governments which have outstanding dues to power companies to clear them. They also need to ponder as to why they are unable to make payments (to gencos and discoms) in time when consumers are paying their electricity bills honestly,” he appealed to the states.
The prime minister also noted that losses in (power) distribution in the country are in double-digit while in developed countries it is in single-digit.
“This means that a lot of electricity is lost and therefore more power has to be produced in order to meet the demand,” Modi highlighted.
Modi launched Rs 3 lakh crore Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme aimed at improving the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of the DISCOMs. He also laid the foundation stone of various green energy projects of state-run power generator NTPC via video-conferencing.
In his address on the occasion, the prime minister said that in the next 25 years, energy sector and power sector have important role in propelling the nation’s growth. He emphasised that a strong energy sector is essential not only for ease of doing business but also equally crucial for ease of living.
“In the past years, there have been a lot of talks on the use of hydrogen gas as fuel for vehicles and also in the kitchen.
“Today, India has taken a big step. Starting today, works on two major projects of green hydrogen in Ladakh and Gujarat have started,” said Modi.
He also said that Ladakh will very soon be the first place in the country where fuel cell electric vehicles will be running and help make the union territory carbon-neutral.
Noting the achievements in the green power sector, Modi said that India is now among the top 4-5 countries with regards to installed solar capacity.
“Some of the big solar projects in the world today are in India,” he stated.
“In the last 8 years, about 1,70,000 MW of electricity generation capacity has been added. One Nation One Power Grid has become the strength of the country. So far, about 170 GW capacity has been installed from non-fossil sources,” Modi said.