‘In­dia may be Able to Light Up All Homes by 2018’

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Ra­chita.Prasad @times­group.com

Mumbai: In­dia will achieve its am­bi­tious tar­get of light­ing the homes in all its vil­lages by 2018, al­though con­tin­u­ous sup­ply of power may have to wait un­til re­forms in the sec­tor be­come more vis­i­ble and tan­gi­ble, PV Ramesh, who heads the coun­try’s ru­ral power fi­nanc­ing agency, told ET.

In­dia has both idle pow­er­gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity and huge un­met de­mand for elec­tric­ity: Yet, pri­mar­ily state-run power dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies are re­luc­tant to buy more to avoid fi­nan­cial bur­den on their oth­er­wise stressed bal­ancesheets. The gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced UDAY (Ujwal Dis­com As­sur­ance Yo­jana), a pro­gramme to re­vive the be­lea­guered dis­coms. While UDAY’s ben­e­fits are al­ready vis­i­ble on the fi­nan­cial side, the dis­coms are yet to start buy­ing more power.

“Buy­ing power is a com­mer­cial de­ci­sion for states. A lot of progress has hap­pened un­der UDAY in sev­eral states but if some­body thought that fi­nan­cial re­struc­tur­ing would bring in mir­a­cles, I thing that is too sim­plis­tic an as­sump­tion,” Ramesh, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ru­ral Elec- tri­fi­ca­tion Cor­po­ra­tion, said in an exclusive in­ter­view.

He said that the mis­match in de­mand and sup­ply would con­tinue un­til dis­coms fully adopt the three-step ap­proach of UDAY, en­tail­ing fi­nan­cial re­struc­tur­ing, tech­no­log­i­cal mod­erni­sa­tion, and bet­ter gov­er­nance.

“Right now, we have only shifted the debt bur­den from the books of ac­counts of the states to the gov­ern­ment. It doesn’t change any­thing fun­da­men­tally but just takes the mon­key off your back and gives a breather to dis­coms. Now they need to re­form their func­tion­ing, gov­er­nance and make huge in­vest­ment in mod­erni­sa­tion. All that would take time,” he said. REC is the nodal agency for Uday.

PV Ramesh, MD, REC

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.