Energy sector gets more power

Energy sector gets more power

The allocation for the energy sector in the State budget for 2014-15 has been increased by over Rs 1,000 crore. While Rs 10,312 crore had been provided in the financial year 2013-14, the allocation for the next fiscal year is Rs 11,693 crore. 

A large chunk of it, or about Rs 6,200 crore, has been set aside as subsidy to provide free electricity to farmers’ pump sets, and for Bhagya Jyothi and Kuteera Jyothi schemes. 

Experts have, however, cautioned the government about the subsidy liability and doubted its ability to meet the burden. But M R Sreenivasa Murthy, the chairperson of the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), said the budgetary allocation for subsidy showed that the government was prepared to meet the liability. “It’s a good thing,” he said. 

This apart, Rs 750 crore has been provided as capital for Electricity Supply Companies (Escoms) for 2014-15. The funds will be spent, among other things, on installing LED solar streetlights in 50 villages at a cost of Rs 5 lakh per village, implementing the Green Energy Corridor scheme with the assistance of the KPTCL and KFW and the inclusion of two sub-divisions in every Escom under the High Voltage Distribution System. 

The implementation of smart grid and smart meter schemes in 98 cities, another aspect in the budget, has also been welcomed. M G Prabhakar, chairperson, Energy Committee, FKCCI, saw it as a positive move. 

In addition, Rs 20 crore has been set aside for solar energy schemes. The government has also announced electricity connections for all pending irrigation pump sets (as on March 31, 2014) to be provided during 2014-15 under the Ganga Kalyana scheme. 

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