TN, MP seek more time to unbundle their SEBs

New Delhi, Nov 19 | Updated: Nov 20 2005, 07:06am hrs
With the December 9 deadline for unbundling of state electricity boards (SEBs) into separate generation, transmission, distribution and trading entities fast approaching, the power ministry has started receiving requests from state energy departments for yet another extension.

The ministry, it may be noted, has already extended the deadline by 12-18 months for many states.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has written to the ministry for its continuation as a state transmission utility and licencee for another year, beyond December 9. The state was first given 12 months to unbundle the operations of TNEB, which was extended by another six months.

TNEB is continuing as a state transmission utility and a licensee under the provision to Clause 172 (a) of the Electricity Act, 2003 for a further period of six months beyond June 6, 2005. I request the government to convey its concurrence for continuing TNEB in its existing form as a transmission utility and licensee for a further period of one year beyond December 9, said R Satapathy, special commissioner and secretary, government of Tamil Nadu in a letter to the ministry.

Similarly, the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB) has also approached the ministry for an extension of six months. The government of Madhya Pradesh seeks approval of the government to concur to MPSEB continuing with trading functions beyond 9 December until June 9, 2006 for a period of six months, said Rakesh Sahni, state principal secretary, in his letter to the ministry.

The Planning Commission, which is dis-satisfied with the power sector reforms in the country, is likely to take it up with state chief ministers during annual Plan meetings.

Deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had said at the Economic Editors Conference on Friday that actual losses of SEBs due to subsidies were much higher than the official estimate of Rs 28,000 crore and were attributable largely to power theft.