Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reviewed the progress of the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (Uday). The meeting was attended by power minister Piyush Goyal, senior officials from the PMO, NITI Aayog and other ministries. Under Uday, state governments are required to take over 75% of the short-term liabilities of their respective discoms (as in September-end 2015), 50% in the first year (FY16) and the balance in FY17. The accumulated losses of discoms stood at a staggering Rs 3.8 lakh crore at the launch of Uday. Their outstanding debt then stood at Rs 4.3 lakh crore. State governments of 16 states have taken over around Rs 2.08 lakh crore debt of their electricity distribution companies (Discoms) as per the terms of Uday. This helped in lowering interest rates to 7%-8.5% from around 11-12%, resulting in Discoms saving Rs 11,989 crore till December 2016.
The performances of several state Discoms have seen an improvement since they signed up for the Uday. The narrowing of the gap between the Discoms’ average cost of supply (ACS) and average revenue realised (ARR) by Rs 0.07/unit in FY17. The average aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses for all Uday states has come down by about four percentage points to 20.2% as well. However, some targets in the operational front remain elusive. While more than 21 lakh distribution transformers had been metered till March, 2017, the number is not even 50% of the target which needs to be met by December, 2017. Uday also envisaged the installation of smart meters for consumers using more than 200 units of electricity every month by December, 2019. Only 1% of the overall target of 2.2 crore smart meters has been met so far.
A presentation was also made to the prime minister on coal mine and mineral block auctions.Apart from emphasising on a roadmap for faster operationalisation of mines, Modi also called for greater coordination between all mineral-related departments during the survey and mapping of geological potential regions.