ECONOMY

Here’s How India Wants To Help Struggling Discoms After UDAY Failure

Improving Electricity Supply For Farmers

As many as 10,000 agriculture feeders would be separated at an estimated cost of Rs 20,000 crore, helping farmers get reliable and quality power through dedicated agriculture feeders. This scheme converges with the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evem Utthan Mahabhiyan scheme to solarise all feeders and boost farm income. That would provide cheap or free day-time power for irrigation and additional income for farmers.

Prepaid Smart Meters
The government plans to install prepaid smart meters, helping consumers monitor usage. As many as 25 crore smart meters are expected to be installed by 2025-26—10 crore prepaid smart meters will be prioritised in the first phase by December 2023 in:

All electricity divisions of 500 cities under the Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Transformation that have AT&C Losses greater than 15%.

  • All union territories.

  • MSMEs and other industrial, commercial consumers.

  • All government offices at block level and above.

  • Other areas with high losses.

ICRA sees potential in the new plan to improve operational efficiency through smart meters and upgrading infrastructure.

Segregation of agriculture feeders and strengthening the systems will help state-owned power distributors curtail technical and commercial losses, said Sabyasachi Majumdar, senior vice president and group head-corporate ratings at ICRA. Every 1% reduction in AT&C loss brings down annual cost by Rs 5,000 crore for discoms, he said.

Rohit Natrajan, associate vice president at Antique Stock Broking, said these reforms would benefit some capital goods firms. “In smart meters, it could be Genus Power, HPL Electric. In segments like solar pumps, it could be Tata Power and Shakti Pumps, to name a few.”

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