VIJAYAWADA: The State government has taken steps in the past one year with a two-fold objective of bailing out debt-ridden and cash-strapped Discoms and providing cost-effective and qualitative power to consumers. The Energy department on Sunday listed out the achievements made in the last one year.
While the government has released Rs 17,904 crore in 2019-20 towards clearing subsidies, both arrears and current, it has also released Rs 20,384 crore to clear the power purchase dues (as on March 31, 2019). Of the Rs 17, 904 crore released towards subsidy, Rs 13,391 crore accounted for dues accumulated as of March 31, 2019. “The total bills cleared (subsidy + PP dues) by the Discoms are worthRs 34,384 crore in 2019- 20,” the statement said.
The Discoms are also in the process of clearing pending renewable power generators’ bills. The statement also said the government has asked power utilities to fully focus on providing nine-hour free power during day time to all 18.5 lakh agriculture services by the beginning of Rabi season. About Rs 1,700 crore is being spent on this to improve power supply infrastructure, including new substations and modernisation of lines.
Energy Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy said Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy believes that the effective implementation of free power scheme will improve living standards of farmers, agricultural productivity and give a boost to the rural economy. Asking power utilities to develop consumer centric approach, Srinivasa Reddy said the consumers need not pay any excess amount regarding electricity bills.
The government, for the first time, has agreed to pay Rs 1707.05 crore towards domestic subsidy. “Our government will never compromise on the welfare of consumers,” he said.