The Minister of State (I/C) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Shri Raj Kumar Singh releasing the booklet “State Distribution Utilities – Sixth Annual Integrated Rating”, at the Conference of Power and New & Renewable Energy Ministers of States & UTs, in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh on July 03, 2018. The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Jai Ram Thakur, the Secretary, Ministry of Power, Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla, the Secretary, MNRE, Shri Anand Kumar and other dignitaries are also seen.

“We are one team and should work together to provide electricity connection to every poor household in India. Access to energy is a prerequisite for a poverty free India. Energy is the engine of growth
and no country can ever develop with millions of its citizen living without
electricity” said Shri R K Singh, Union Minister (IC) for Power and New &
Renewable Energy. The Minister was addressing the Conference of Power and New & Renewable Energy Ministers of States & UTs held at Shimla on July 3, 2018.

The conference which saw participation of Power Ministers and Secretaries form the States/UTs and senior officials from power and renewable energy (RE) sectors deliberated upon various issues pertaining to the power and RE sectors in India. Various Government programmes were taken up for discussion, such as Power for All, Saubhagya, IPDS, UDAY and RE sector during the one-day conference.

Calling the DISCOMs as the axis of power sector, the Minister called upon the Conference of Power and New & Renewable Energy Ministers of States and UTs states to plug DISCOMs losses. He said that subsidies in power sector should be routed through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). Talking of infrastructure creation in States, the Minister highlighted slow utilization of the funds approved by the centre. He also said that Centre is ready to provide more funds if needed for infrastructure creation and the States meeting their targets speedily will be incentivized. Calling the prepaid
meters a pro-poor step, Shri Singh said that today a poor person may find it
difficult to pay one month’s electricity bill at one go. Smart prepaid meters will enable him to pay in small installments as per his convenience without the fear of his connection being cut. It will also eliminate the problem of wrong bills being raised. Talking of reforms in power sector, the Power Minister said that affordability is the key and a mechanism needs to be put in place so that power from most efficient plants is utilized first.

This would bring down electricity prices. On the issue of coal shortage, Shri
Singh said that supply of coal has increased but the coal problem is
persisting because our demand is increasing which is a good sign for the
development of our country. Listing various steps taken to address coal
shortage, he said that states have been given freedom to import coal if they
needed so. At the same time efforts are being made to start new mines and
increase transportation capacity.

On the renewable energy front, the Minister said that it has tremendous
potential but balancing need to be done by power generated from hydro and gas. He also cautioned that hydro and gas should serve as peaking load not based load. He also mentioned that the Government was bringing hydropower policy to address various issues facing hydro power sector.The Minister said that he would make every effort and work in collaboration with States to ensure that every citizen of India has round-the-clock power supply.

Source: pib.nic.in

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