Senior advisor to the Planning Commission Arun Mishra cautioned Orissa State Government against non-utilisation of grant under the Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (APDRP) by the current fiscal end. It will be converted into loan. The aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) loss of the four private distribution companies (distcoms) of about 40 per cent is not acceptable as it is too high compared to the national average, he said.
Mishra who reviewed the plan expenditure of five major departments - Energy, Panchayati Raj, Revenue and Rural Development and Works - reportedly expressed his displeasure to the high transmission and distribution losses in the State.
Ironically, the Centre has provided only Rs 74 crore to the State under APDRP in the 10th Plan as against Rs 592- crore project sanctioned. Under the scheme, the Centre provided 50 per cent of the project cost in the form of grant and loan in equal proportion while the balance 50 per cent is arranged by the distcoms as matching fund.
The Power Ministry recently communicated to the State Government not to provide any assistance under APDRP in the 11th Plan period in view of privatisation of the distribution business.
This came as a shock to the State which has submitted project proposals worth Rs 2,000 crore to the Centre. The Government has submitted a fresh proposal to the Power Ministry to implement the programme through Orissa Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL), a State PSU.
Prior to this, the Ministry had threatened the State to convert the Central grant provided under the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) to loan if the State failed to utilise the funds given during the 10th Plan by March-end.The Government has taken strong objection to the Power Ministry’s decision. Energy Minister SN Patro said that he would take up these issues with the Union Power Minister in Delhi.
Source - Express News Service