“We are aiming to provide 24x7 power for all by March 2019. We will also propose a law in which the discoms will be levied monetary penalties in case of load-shedding, unless it’s caused by an act of God. We will first send the proposal to all states,” said the power minister.
Ministry of power is also looking to remove complete human interface for metering. Ninety percent of the meters will be prepaid and the remaining relatively larger power consumers will have smart metering with modes of payments largely being mobile phones as explained by the power minister. This could mean that the age-old practice of queuing up for paying bills is nearing its end.
The move comes at a time when the power ministry has gone whole hog declaring the nation as coal surplus and claim to have provided electricity 595,321 villages (99.6%) out of 597,464 census villages with states of Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir having logistics troubles. However, state discoms have reported losses in the recent past.
To address the problem of stressed assets, Singh also capped the total losses to 15% to ensure efficiency and continuous supply of power. The direct fallout of which might be on per unit rates of electricity.
State power ministers met the Union minister in a closed-door conference today where they also decided to bring down the number of rate slabs for electricity to 10-12. “This will ensure transparency and efficiency,” said the union minister.