India Strategies $35 Billion Power Reforms to Resuscitate Ailing Utilities

The measures will target infrastructure and technology upgrades of the ailing utilities to make them more efficient and reduce financial losses

December 31, 2019. By News Bureau

India is considering another wave of reforms aimed at turning around its struggling power retailers.

A power ministry spokeswoman said that the reforms could cost as much as 2.5 trillion rupees over five years, according to people with knowledge of the issue.
The measures will target at infrastructure and technology upgrades of the ailing utilities to make them more efficient and reduce financial losses, according to the common people. The efforts will be inclusive of central government grants of as much as 1 trillion rupees to states that meet targets set by New Delhi, they added.

The plan will be inclusive of the installation of about 250 million prepaid smart meters, which are expected to boost revenue collection. Other measures include systems to better monitor and control networks known as supervisory control and data acquisition systems separating grids for farmers and residential users, and replacing overhead cables with special insulated wires to prevent theft.

The investment in smart meters is expected to become part of the operating expenses of the retailers and will be funded using the efficiency gains they derive from the upgrade, according to the people. The power ministry is working with distribution companies on models for other initiatives, the officials stated.

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