“Over time there have been serious distortions in our politics. In politics, people should have the courage to speak the truth. But in some states, we see a tendency to push issues. It may seem politically advantageous to run it immediately. Not addressing the challenges today is like putting a burden on our children, the generations to come,” Modi said while launching the Rs 3 lakh crore package for distribution sector reforms and a slew of renewable energy projects of NTPC.
He pointed out that the discoms owe over Rs 1 lakh crore to the generating companies as they have not received the committed subsidy, while the electricity bills of government departments and urban local bodies have not been paid.
This was the second time this month that the PM had attacked the practice of using free to vote at the expense of long-term development. His first salvo on “Rewari Culture” came on 16 July when he inaugurated Bundelkhand Expressway.
The warning was extended by Supreme court On Tuesday when a bench headed by the Chief Justice NV Ramana Sounded a loud alarm and suggested that the Finance Commission may consider regulating the flow of funds to the states which are giving subsidies.
“Generation companies are generating electricity but not paying… Just as a household would starve without cooking fuel, even if it had spices, or a vehicle would not run without fuel, all without electricity. Something will come to a standstill. If the power sector becomes weak in one state, it affects the entire country,” the PM said.
The distribution sector has emerged as the weakest link in the power sector and subsidies – or free power – are a major reform hurdle as delayed payments by state governments push utilities into a debt trap.
“As you all know that our power sector losses have gone into double digits whereas all the developed countries have managed to keep it in single digits. This means we are wasting a lot of electricity and due to this, more We have to produce more than what we need.”
TOI had reported on July 26 how discoms can get back in the black if states honor the subsidy commitment of Rs 76,337 crore and government bodies have cleared bills worth an estimated Rs 62,931 crore by March 31.
Unpaid subsidies and government bills leave little money to upgrade networks to reduce “high double-digit” line losses. He said that after accounting for such losses, additional power has to be produced to meet the demand, which increases the cost of electricity for consumers.
Though the PM did not name any state, his statement is being seen as targeting several regional parties, especially the Delhi Chief Minister on the issue of ‘free electricity’. Arvind Kejriwal Which has made it AAP’s election campaign.