High penalty, licence renewal for discoms in electricity bill

Last Updated 24 January 2018, 16:35 IST

Union Power Minister R K Singh on Wednesday said the  Centre would try to introduce Electricity Amendment Bill in the budget session of Parliament, which would provide for stringent provisions like higher penalty for unscheduled power cuts and renewal of licences for discoms every five years.

"If the electricity regulator finds out that the distribution companies have not tied up with power producing companies for procuring power, then such discoms will be fined," the power minister told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on e- mobility.

At present, discoms  get a lifetime licence  and there the is a provision  for a meagre penalty of Rs 1,000 for unscheduled power cuts by them, which was rarely imposed by any power regulator.  

The government also plans to reduce the time taken for providing an electricity connection to a consumer from the existing one month to a week .

The minister said that the power  ministry is working on a new tariff policy where the real beneficiary will get the maximum benefit.

He also emphasised on eliminating cross-subsidy saying that scrapping it would benefit the sector as a whole.

Opposing the current system of collecting the highest charges from industrial and commercial units, he said it would hurt the 'Make in India' initiative of the government.

Cross-subsidy is provided to fund cheaper power to residential, farmer and poor consumers. Industrial users currently pay cross-subsidy.

The Niti Aayog in its draft policy has suggested removal of cross-subsidy.

The Electricity Amendment Bill also provides for segregation  of the distribution network business and the electricity supply business.

(Published 24 January 2018, 14:16 IST)

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