‘Uninterrupted Power Supply from April 2019’, Says Power Minister

State distribution companies (discoms) will face heavy penalties if they resort to willful blackouts, said RK Singh.

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Photo used for representation. 

"From 1 April 2019, there will be uninterrupted power supply," claims a Times of India report on 2 January, quoting power minister, RK Singh.

According to the report, Singh was reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise of 24x7 "quality power" made in his election rallies prior to the 2014 General Elections.

Highlighting the importance of electricity, Singh said "electricity is as important as breathing". He added that the state distribution companies (discoms) will face heavy penalties if they resort to "willful blackouts", considered to be an escape route of buying power from suppliers.

The power minister stressed that all this will change from 1 April due to the revised tariff policy.

“This is something which we at the Centre and the states have discussed and signed up for. 31 March 2019 is the deadline i.e. from 1 April, there will have to be 24x7 supply, except for one or two sectors such as agriculture where they do not need 24x7 supply; they need supply when there is a requirement.” 
RK Singh, Power Minister

Singh further told The Times of India, that the ministry aims to introduce UDAY - II – successor of UDAY scheme launched by the government in 2015 to improve the financial state of the power distribution sector. The scheme’s primary aim was to reduce losses incurred by the sector.

"UDAY - II aims to infuse technology such as pre-paid metering and prevent the theft of electricity, to cut the mounting losses,” Singh said.

“Pre-paid metering is pro-poor. Right now you are asking the poor person to pay the bill for 30 days at one go. I am saying that a pre-paid meter enables him of paying 5 to 20 installments... If he has Rs 50, he can recharge the amount and enjoy power... This allows him to pay as per his financial condition. It is also pro-DISCOM because it gets the payment in advance,” Singh told The Times of India.

The power minister also added that the overall losses in the power sector under the UDAY scheme has come down by 21.8 percent, however, losses in some states have increased.

(With inputs from The Times of India)

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