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Home News Power Sector News Odisha CM seeks central aid for private discoms

Odisha CM seeks central aid for private discoms

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Naveen PatnaikOdisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik  requested the Centre to sanction financial assistance under Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (R-APDRP) to the State-run Central Electricity Supply Utility (Cesu) and other private distribution companies (distcoms) in the State. The aid will improve their power distribution and transmission systems, he said.
"The Ministry of Power may take necessary steps to sanction financial assistance under R-APDRP scheme to Cesu without any further delay," the Chief Minister said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Though the Centre introduced the R-APDRP scheme during the 11th Plan with the objective of upgrading the sub-transmission and distribution network, including energy accounting in urban areas having a population of over 30,000 each, the assistance is not available to private utilities, Naveen said.
The Chief Minister said the Cesu, managing power distribution in the central region of the State, is not a private distribution company. He said the Cesu is a statutorily-constituted body and its legal status is body corporate.
Odisha, encouraged by the new economic policy of 1991, was the first in the country to privatise the power sector. As part of the reforms, the State Government unbundled the Orissa State Electricity Board by separating generation, transmission and distribution.
Naveen said 51 per cent of the Board's share was transferred to four distribution companies __ Central Electricity Supply Company of Orissa Limited (Cesco), North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Orissa Limited (Nesco), Western Electricity Supply Company of Orissa Limited (Wesco) and Southern Electricity Supply Company Of Orissa Limited (Southco). The Cesco later became Cesu after the private partner left, the Chief Minister pointed out.
Though the World Bank and the DFID in the initial period assisted the private distribution companies, they later stopped financial capital projects. The distribution companies thereafter could not mobilise investment. Therefore, the objective of substantial reduction of Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses could not be achieved, he said.
While many states, availing of R-APDRP assistance, have substantially reduced the AT&C losses to less than 25 per cent, deprived of R-APDRP assistance, Odisha is incurring AT&C losses of about 40 per cent, Naveen said demanding recast of the scheme to cover private utilities.


Source- IBN Line


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