The Government of India, the State of Punjab and the DISCOM of Punjab (Punjab State Power Corporation Limited), signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) here today for operational and financial turnaround of the Power Corporation. The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Minister of State for Power (IC) Mr Piyush Goyal and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal.The MoU was signed on behalf of ministry of power by joint secretary Dr A K Verma and Principal Secretary Power Punjab A. Venu Prasad and on behalf of DISCOM by Er. KD Choudhary, chairman & MD, PSPCL.On the occasion, Mr Piyush Goyal said Under UDAY scheme union government would focus on developing rapid growth and bring about paradigm change in power infrastructure in the states. He said this central scheme would ensure a permanent solution to the debt-ridden power utilities to achieve financial stability and to improve their operational efficiencies, for sustained growth. He assured that all targets given in the MOU would be achieved.
The scheme UDAY had been launched by the Union government to ensure a sustainable solution to enable the power utilities to break out of long standing debts. Besides, it would make the DISCOMs financially independent and operationally healthy, to be able to supply adequate power at affordable rates, through 100% rural electrification and 24X7 power for all.Speaking on the occasion Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal said Punjab had already achieved the status of power surplus and under this agreement the union government would facilitate Punjab to take over 50% of the outstanding debt of the PSPCL in the year 2015-16 and 25% of the outstanding debt in the year 2016-17.Mr Badal said the MoU would facilitate to increase supply of domestic coal to Punjab DISCOM, ensuring rationalization of coal linkages, liberally allowing coal swaps from inefficient plants to efficient plants and from plant situated away from mines to pithead plants. He further added that it would also ensure correction of coal grade slippages, directing Coal India to supply 100% washed coal, supply of 100% crushed coal from Coal India, faster completion of ISTN lines, and allocating linkages to state at notified price based on which the State will go for tariff based bidding. "This will help in getting cheaper power and revive stressed assets", he said.
He said under this agreement PSPCL would replace existing street lights with LEDs in all municipal towns through urban local bodies and endeavour to reduce the transmission losses from 3.8% to 2.5% till 2018-19. Besides, power utility would make efforts to improve efficiency of state generating units and reduce AT&C losses to 14.00% by 2018-19 and it will likely to bring additional revenue of around Rs. 1600 crore to PSPCL during the period of turnaround. Mr Badal said these measures would provide interest cost saving of around Rs. 60 crore to the DISCOM.In order to bring about a sustainable turnaround of the PSPCL, he said the Punjab government and the state PSU would improve operational efficiency through feeder and distribution transformer metering, consumer indexing upgrade/change transformers and meters, smart metering of high-end consumers, thereby bringing about reduction in transmission and distribution losses, besides eliminating the gap between cost of supply of power and realisation. He said the state would gain around Rs. 1250 crore due to these coal reforms.
Deputy CM said Punjab government would make all efforts to improve the operational efficiency of the PSPCL and thereby reduce the cost of supply of power. This tripartite agreement would help to turnaround financial and operational efficiency besides improve the rating of PSPCL and help the utility in raising cheaper funds for future capital investment requirement. He further added that an overall net benefit of approximately Rs. 5475 crore would accrue to the state by opting to participate in UDAY, by way of savings in interest cost, reduction in AT&C and transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency, coal reforms etc. during the period of turnaround.He added that availability of 24x7 power would boost the economy, promote industries, thereby improve employment opportunities which would develop the Punjab into one of the leading state in India.