Energy Secretary N. Srikant on Thursday asserted that the government had no plan to hand over the Rayalaseema Thermal Power Plant (RTPP) to the NTPC and that it had communicated in writing its opposition to the Electricity (Amendment Bill), 2020.
Energy Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy had already clarified that the government wanted to have the power utilities in the public sector to safeguard the interests of the consumers and employees, Mr. Srikant observed.
In a review meeting with the officials, Mr. Srikant said that out of the subsidy arrears of ₹13,391 crore pending disbursal to the Discoms as on March 31, 2019, the government released ₹8,655 crore in 2019-20 and ₹9,249 crore towards the subsidy announced in 2019-20 and other charges.
The government also released ₹20,384 crore to the Discoms for clearing the power generator bills pending as on March 31, 2019. The total bills cleared by the Discoms amounted to ₹34,384 crore in 2019-20.
Mr. Srikant further said the government intended to set up the 10,000 MW solar power plant to ensure free power supply to the agriculture sector for the next 30 years. It would be bearing the entire expenditure as it did not want to impose fresh burden on the ailing utilities.
“The government has recruited 7,000 junior linemen and 172 assistant engineers to provide better services to the consumers,” Mr. Srikant added.
AP-Transco Joint Managing Directors K. Sreedhar Reddy and K. Venkateswara Rao and CMDs of Dsicoms S. Naga Lakshmi, H. Haranatha Rao and J. Padma Janardhana Reddy were among those present.