Tent City, Narmada: A sustainable and viable power sector is a prerequisite for India becoming a developed nation, Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy RK Singh has said.
Inaugurating the Conference of Power and Renewable Energy Ministers of States and Union Territories here on October 11, he said, “India cannot become a developed country without a sustainable and viable power sector which supplies 24/7 power for all”.
“We have to make sure that Indian power sector attracts investments. That would happen only when there is Ease of Doing Business and sanctity of contracts is not violated,” he said.
He also stressed the need for timely payments by Discoms to the power generators.
Highlighting the need to make power prices competitive and affordable, the Minister said that common man should not be forced to bear the burden of system’s inefficiencies and also stressed upon the consumers’ right for quality service.
To reduce power losses and to increase billing and collection efficiency, the Minister reiterated his vision to switch over to smart prepaid metering.
Highlighting the benefits of smart prepaid meters Singh said, “Smart prepaid meters are pro-poor as consumer is not forced to pay whole month’s bill at one go. Also, it increases ease of bill payments and minimises the chances of power theft.”.
He also urged all states to install these meters in all government departments on priority basis.
Talking about climate change, the Minister said that it had become a major concern world over and India was committed to fight climate change in every possible way.
Mentioning about Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme, he said that it would solarise agriculture pumps in coming years. This would not only reduce States’ subsidy burden but also benefit farmers who would sell surplus power to government.
“It will also incentivize farmers to use groundwater judiciously and save electricity as they’ll be able earn money by selling the spare electricity to government,” the Minister added.
Power Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg and MNRE Secretary Anand Kumar also spoke in the conference.
In his inaugural address, Anand Kumar said that for India climate change has been a matter of faith and commitment.