Centre, states to provide affordable 24x7 power to businesses: Piyush Goyal
New Delhi: Central and state governments are working on a scheme to provide uninterrupted power at competitive rates to new businesses and to companies expanding capacity, power minister Piyush Goyal told reporters on Wednesday.
The idea is to keep cost of energy low and stable to improve the competitive edge of Indian industry. At present, industrial consumers cross-subsidise domestic and agricultural consumers, which raises their power costs.
Goyal said he had held discussions with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on how to give affordable power 24x7 to the industry. The issue will be discussed in detail at a two-day conference of state power ministers that began in New Dellhi on Wednesday.
Goyal said ministers will find ways for achieving the target of providing uninterrupted quality power at affordable prices for all by December 2018.
“The challenges in achieving 24x7 power for all are not over yet and in the next three-four months, a final push is needed to electrify the remaining 4,141 un-electrified villages in the country,” a statement from the power ministry said, quoting Goyal.
As per PM Narendra Modi’s 2015 plan, 18,452 un-electrified villages were to be electrified by 1 May, 2018. As of 3 May, 13,377 villages have been electrified. Once all villages are electrified, making sure that every household is connected and that uninterrupted power is available, will take a little longer. Goyal said that he will discuss with states how to take electricity to villages affected by left-wing extremism.
The minister, who also holds the portfolios of coal, mines and clean energy, said that after having achieved sufficient coal supplies to power plants, the government’s next goal is to improve the fuel’s quality, so that domestic coal could replace imported coal.
“If less coal is used by power plants to generate the same amount of power, there is less pollution,” Goyal said.