‘The utilities, without ensuring economic stability, cannot gain confidence of consumers’
The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has permitted the DISCOMs to recover the ‘true-up’ charges amounting to ₹3,669 crore by taking into account their financial distress, according to the CMDs of the power utilities.
They conveyed the steps taken thereof to Energy Secretary N. Srikant during a teleconference on Sunday, according to an official release.
It stated that the power utilities had laid focus on capacity additions, strengthening the transmission and distribution networks, undertaking customer-centric initiatives and etc. and were undertaking a capacity building programme for the overall development of the power sector.
“Andhra Pradesh has become a role model for other States in procuring cost-effective power. Unless and until the utilities ensure operational and economic stability, they cannot gain consumer confidence,” said Mr. Srikant.
He said that the power purchase arrears and operating expenses stood at ₹12,500 crore as on June 2, 2014 and it reached ₹32,000 crore by April 1, 2019. The State government came to the rescue of DISCOMs by releasing ₹28,166 crore in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.
The DISCOMs have paid ₹64,007 crore towards power purchase costs to the generators in 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years.
Mr. Srikant pointed out that Andhra Pradesh was the first State to introduce the concept of cost-effective power. The power utilities could save ₹2,342 crore by procuring power in the open market through a host of cost-effective measures in the last two years.
AP-Transco Joint Managing Director (HR & vigilance and security) K. Venkateswara Rao, Directors K. Praveen Kumar and K. Muthupandian and DISCOMs’ CMDs J. Padma Janardhana Reddy, H. Haranatha Rao and K. Santhosh Rao were among those who took part in the deliberation.