The Minister of State (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) for Power, New & Renewable Energy R.K. Singh informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply today that as per the provisional data of 2018-19 made available by States/Union Territories (except three States and four Union Territories from which the data has not been received), the States were able to bill for only 84.27% of the power supplied. Singh added that the losses in terms of units not billed comes to 15.73%. The reasons for these losses include technical losses; faulty meters; wrong-billing; and, pilferage, etc.
The Minister further said that High aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses of distribution utilities beyond the permissible limits leads to financial losses of DISCOMs. This has an adverse impact upon the power sector value chain, including that on generation companies.
He added that in the Budget speech of year 2020-21, Government have informed parliament that it would take measures to reform DISCOMs, and also that the Ministry of Power intends to promote smart metering.
Singh also said thatElectricity is a concurrent subject and distribution of electricity falls under the purview of the respective State Government / State Power Utility. It is the responsibility of distribution licensees to take necessary steps for reducing the AT&C losses in their system. However, Government of India is assisting states/ utilities to achieve this objective by launching various schemes, which include Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), DeenDayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and UjwalDiscom Assurance Yojana (UDAY), to enable States to improve their Distribution infrastructure and systems so that AT&C losses are reduced. Under IPDS/DDUGJY, technical loss reduction measures such as creation /augmentation of sub-transmission &distribution infrastructure; metering of distribution transformers/feeders/ consumers; underground (UG) cabling; aerial bunched (AB) cables; and, IT enablement of distribution infrastructure have been envisaged.