Uttar Pradesh witnessed a 28.5% rise in electricity bill collection in the first quarter of FY18. Collection in the April-June period by Uttar Pradesh utilities was Rs 7,822 crore. The state procured 31,400 million units (MUs) of electricity in the period, 15.5% higher than a year ago. There was a 4.1% deficit of power to meet the peak demand of 18,827 MW in the period.The feat was attributed mainly due to the crackdown on power theft initiated by the government. In March, a number of measures were announced to address the issue after Union power minister Piyush Goyal met Shrikant Sharma, Uttar Pradesh energy minister. An amnesty scheme was announced for household and commercial connections which wanted to subscribe to legal electricity connections. It was also decided to waive off interests on electricity dues and provision of EMIs to pay off the principal amounts.
In FY17, there were almost 68 lakh unmetered domestic consumers in the state, accounting for 40% of total 170 lakh consumers under this category. More than 68 lakh rural connections were unmetered at the end of March this year. UP aims to reinvigorate the ongoing scheme of ‘Vidyut Chori Roko Abhiyan’, and take additional steps such as installation of pre-paid meter, defective meter replacement, raids for checking thefts and replacement of mechanical meters to convert all unmetered household connections to metered connections by 2019.
The state has issued bonds worth Rs 49,510 crore after taking over 75% of the debt owed by its power distribution companies (discoms), as per the terms of the Uday scheme. This helped in lowering interest rates payable by the discoms to 7-8.5% from around 11-12%, which in turn, decreased the discoms’ financial losses by 14% to Rs 6,619 crore in FY17.The aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses of the state now stands at 30.21% against 32.36% at the end of FY16. The gap between the average cost of electricity supply and revenue realised has fallen by more than 60% to Rs 0.66/unit.