What is the News?
The Union Cabinet has approved a Reforms-based and Results-linked, Revamped Power Distribution Sector Scheme.
About Reform Based Power Distribution Scheme:
Aim: To improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of DISCOMs/ Power Departments excluding Private Sector DISCOMs by providing conditional financial assistance for strengthening of supply infrastructure.
Objectives of the Scheme:
- Reduction of AT&C losses to pan-India levels of 12-15% by 2024-25.
- Reduction of ACS-ARR gap to zero by 2024-25.
- Developing Institutional Capabilities for Modern DISCOMs
- Improvement in the quality, reliability, and affordability of power supply to consumers through a financially sustainable and operationally efficient Distribution Sector.
Duration and Implementation of the Scheme:
- Nodal Agencies: Power Finance Corporation(PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation(REC) have been nominated as the nodal agencies for the implementation of the scheme.
- Duration: The Scheme would be available till the year 2025-26.
Other Features of the Scheme:
- Assistance: The financial assistance under the Scheme will be based on meeting pre-qualifying criteria as well as upon achievement of basic minimum benchmarks by the DISCOM.
- Approach: Implementation of the Scheme would be based on the action plan worked out for each state rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
- Merging of Scheme: The central schemes, Integrated Power Development Scheme(IPDS), Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) will be merged under this scheme.
- Focus: The Scheme has a major focus on improving electricity supply for the farmers and for providing daytime electricity to them through solarization of agricultural feeders.
- Consumer Empowerment: The scheme also enables consumer empowerment by way of prepaid Smart metering to be implemented in Public-Private-Partnership(PPP) mode.
- Technology: Artificial Intelligence would be used to analyze data generated to enable DISCOMs to make informed decisions.