Jaipur: Saddled with a debt burden of Rs 80,500 crore, discoms in Rajasthan were given a lifeline in 2016 under the Uday scheme. But after two years, their performance on many parameters shows that the scheme is far from being a panacea for the beleaguered power sector even as it left the state finances in complete disarray, constraining its spending for developmental works.
The latest data available till December 2017 shows that the discoms in the state are still struggling to achieve the mandated level operational efficiency in key parameters.
The progress in reducing aggregate technical and commercial (AT&T) losses has fallen short by a huge margin. While the target was to bring down the AT&T losses to 18.42%, the reduction has been marginal, falling to 24.44% from 26.02% in the previous year.
Similarly, the state discoms have failed to meet the improvement in reducing the aggregate cost of supply (ACS) and aggregate revenue realization (ARR) per unit of power. Against a target ratio of 0.2%, the gap is still 0.26% showing an anemic fall from 0.29% in the previous year.
The performance on the profit & loss front is neither encouraging. Instead of reducing the losses to Rs 1055 crore, they still remain higher at Rs 1446 crore.
The financial transformation mechanism included a set of 14 operational parameters against which the performance of the discoms are ranked. Except for areas like distribution of LED bulbs, renewable energy purchase obligation (RPO) feeder metering, and providing access to unconnected households, the performance of the three discoms in the state leaves much to be desired.
For example, the discoms have deployed 16% of smart meters against the target. Achievement in using meters in distribution transformers has been far below the requirement. While 33% of the target has been achieved in urban areas in distribution transfer metering, in rural areas there has been no work on this.
Given the unmanageable debt load of the discoms, the government had no other choice than participate in the scheme even though it left a significant impact on its finances.
Fiscal deficit as percentage of gross state domestic production (GSDP) was well below 3% during 2011-12, and 2013-14. It was slightly higher at 3.14% next year. But in 2015-16, fiscal deficit increased by 6.25% and was at 9.38% of GSDP mainly because the state took over 50% of the discoms’ debt.
Such high levels of deficit and interest payout on the discom bonds worth Rs 76000 crore is a big drag on the state’s ability to allocate funds for social sector or infrastructure development if it wants remain within the limits of FRBM Act.
High on Hype, Low on Delivery
AT&C Loss (%)
ACS – ARR Gap (Rs per unit)
Profit/Loss Including Subsidy (Rs in crore)
Net Income (A*): -1446.75
Net Income (T**): -1055.3
Electricity Access to Unconnected Households
Achievement: 10.4 Lakh
Target: 10.25 Lakh
*A: Achievement. **T: Target (Source: Union power ministry)