26 September, 2020

'States Must Feel Where The Shoe Pinches'

P.R. Kumaramangalam, the minister for power, interrupted hectic consultation with potential foreign investors to answer Outlook's questions. Excerpts:

'States Must Feel Where The Shoe Pinches'

What is the status of the power sector in India?

We are facing a critical situation. There is a tremendous shortfall of power throughout the country and the projects which were supposed to have taken care of the problem have failed to deliver. While official figures show moderate rates of shortfall, the actual situation is much worse. My estimation is that the actual shortfall is much above 20 per cent, in the range of 18,000 MW. It could be even more.

Are the latest reforms for infrastructure needs or an aftermath of the nuclear tests?

We’re losing Rs 10,000 crore a year (at the SEBs) and Rs 50 lakh on every additional megawatt. There’s no room for complacency or taking things for granted. The SEBs have to become efficient. This was also part of our manifesto. We’d said these things would be completed by December and we are moving fast to keep our promise.

Why are you passing on the responsibility to states?

Firstly, we are losing a lot due to inefficiency of the...



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