TN govt slams common norms for power reforms

Chennai, May 28 | Updated: May 29 2007, 05:31am hrs
The Tamil Nadu government is against any deadline for implementing a common methodology for power reforms. The state government also wants the option to go for a memorandum of understanding (MoU) route along with the international competitive bidding to ramp up generating capacity, since there are doubts about the viability and sustainability of power projects based on low tariffs.

Chief minister M Karunanidhi told the chief ministers conference in New Delhi on Monday that clubbing the well performing state electricity boards (SEBs) with the badly performing ones in one common category and asking them to carry out certain changes or reforms is not the right approach. I request that individual SEBs may be permitted to plan their schedule for changes and reforms based on their specific strength and weaknesses. There should not be any deadline for implementing the methodology prescribed for this exercise.

The chief minister said power generation, transmission and distribution were being looked after by the vertically integrated Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). TNEB was one of the best performing SEBs in the country. The transmission and distribution losses at 18% and billing and collection efficiency at 99% were among the best indicators in the sector, he said. These parameters indicate that the efficiencies of TNEB are far higher and better than what can ever be achieved by privatisation, the chief minister said.

He said privatisation should not be considered as a criterion for granting mega status to new power projects.