Minister wants smart meters
India must assure contract sanctity to attract investments in the power sector to become a developed country, Minister of State for Power R K Singh told delegates at the ‘Conference of Power and Renewable Energy Ministers of States and UTs’ at Tent City, Narmada, Gujarat 11 Oct 2019.
“We have to make sure that Indian power sector attracts investments. That would happen only when there is Ease of Doing Business and sanctity of contracts is not violated.” said Singh.
To reduce power losses and to increase billing and collection efficiency, the Minister reiterated his vison to switch over to smart prepaid metering.
“Smart prepaid meters are pro-poor as consumer is not forced to pay whole month’s bill at one go. Also, it increases ease of bill payments and minimizes the chances of power theft”, said Singh highlighting the benefits of smart prepaid meters.
He urged all States to install these meters in all government departments on priority basis.
Highlighting the need to make power prices competitive and affordable, the Minister said that common man should not be forced to bear the burden of system’s inefficiencies. He also stressed upon the consumers’ right for quality service.
Talking of climate change, the Minister said that it has become a major concern worldwide and India is committed to fight climate change in every possible way.
Mentioning KUSUM scheme, he said that it would solarize agriculture pumps in coming years. This will not only reduce States’ subsidy burden but also benefit farmers who will sell surplus power to government.
“It’ll also incentivize farmers to use groundwater judiciously and save electricity as they’ll be able earn money by selling the spare
electricity to government,” the Minister added.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Secretary Anand Kumar said that for India’s climate change has been a matter of faith and commitment.
He expressed confidence that India would achieve the target of 175 GW renewable energy capacity well before the deadline of December 2022.
On the contentious issue of revisiting PPAs, the Secretary said that these contractual pacts once signed should not be revisited unless there is a provision to this fact in the PPA itself or there is a malafied case of corruption.
The Conference was held 11-12 October 2019 and deliberated over a range of issues pertaining to power and renewable energy sector such as – 24/7 power supply for all, Ease of doing business, Sanctity of contracts, regulatory issues, implementation of various schemes, setting up of Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Parks, transmission, energy conservation among others.
The inauguration of the Conference also saw the release of Seventh Annual Integrated Rating of State Distribution Utilities by the Union Power Minister. Forty-one utilities from 22 States have been rated in this ranking, out of which seven Utilities have been given A+ rating. A total of 20 Utilities have been upgraded this year as compared to last year.
Integrated Rating of State Distribution Utilities is an annual exercise carried out since 2012 by the Power Ministry. Power Finance Corporation (PFC) a PSU under the Ministry of Power, is coordinating agency for the rating exercise. PFC has appointed ICRA and CARE as the designated credit rating agencies for carrying out the rating exercise. fiinews.com