The two-day state power ministers’ conference began in New Delhi on Wednesday. Inaugurating the meet, Union power minister Piyush Goyal said the objective of the conference is to review the work done in power, coal, renewable energy and mining sectors by state governments in the last six months. He also said a final push is needed to electrify remaining 4,141 un-electrified villages in the next 3-4 months.
The conference intends to formulate new policies to achieve the goal of providing 24×7 power for all in the stipulated time. Ministers and senior government officers from 23 states attended the conference. Apart from 24×7 power, the agenda of the conference include the promulgation of information technology in the distribution sector. Policymakers would also look into simplifying tariff categories for consumers. Currently, there are multiple categories across different states, with tariff slabs varying from 36 in Tamil Nadu to 93 in Andhra Pradesh.
A committee set up to design a framework for creating uniform tariff categories across India has recommended that the total number of tariff categories could be restricted to around 15. The conference is also set to take up the issue of improving ash management and treated sewage water usage in thermal power plants. A focus would be given on the ways to increase the usage of domestic coal instead of imported. Curbing illegal mining through a mining surveillance system is also on the agenda.
Energy efficient agriculture pumps, cyber security in power sector and digital payments would also be discussed.
The power minister is also expected to release an ‘Annual Integrated Rating of Utilities Report’ by the Power