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Power Secretary decodes measures taken by FM for benefit of discoms, power sector

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Power Secretary decodes measures taken by FM for benefit of discoms, power sector

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Sanjeev Nandan Sahai, Power Secretary talks about the measures taken by the government for discoms and the power sector to tide the coronavirus crisis.

The power sector was mentioned in three of the five tranches of the fiscal stimulus package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week. Measures such as the Rs 90,000 crore discom shortfall to be filled up with PFC, tariff reforms, and states to be provided with money depending on their power sector reforms while taking care of farmers were announced by the FM. CNBC-TV18 spoke to Sanjeev Nandan Sahai, Power Secretary to get a detailed view on the steps taken for the power sector.

Sahai said that discoms are facing deep liquidity stress and that state governments owe huge dues to them. “State governments owe about Rs 60,000 crore to discoms for their department dues. State departments that have consumed power remain unpaid and about Rs 57,000 crore have to pay against subsidies. So, this totals to Rs 90,000 crore which is only against receivables, it does not cover losses,” he said.
Sahai added that there is no justification for discoms not to take tariff hike. “The arrangements that the state governments and the discoms have with farmers, we are not touching it. But there is no justification for discoms to have average technical and commercial losses to the extent of 30-31 percent, 22 percent, 25 percent when good performing discoms are in the range of 12-10 percent or even below 10 percent,” he said.
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