New Delhi: The finance ministry has cleared a restructured Rs50,000-crore accelerated power development and reforms programme (APDRP), which would soon be sent to the Cabinet for approval.
The scheme envisages to bring the Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses to less than 15% by the end of 11th Five Year Plan in the urban and high population density areas.
“APDRP in its new avtaar is going to be sanctioned very soon. In May last year, we promised a new APDRP scheme. That scheme has been approved by the Finance Ministry and is going to get Cabinet approval. It is a Rs50,000-crore scheme linked with power sector reforms and for the purpose of reducing AT&C losses,” Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh told mediapersons here.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram has earmarked an annual budgetary support of Rs800 crore under the APDRP scheme in the Union Budget 2008-09.
According to the Power Ministry, the overall AT&C losses are hovering around 35% against about 39% in 2001-02.
Ramesh, who took charge as MoS Power on Monday, said meeting capacity addition targets for the year 2008-09 would be on top of the priority list, followed by implementation of Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana, and promotion of PSUs.
“The managerial and technological capacity in PSUs has to be the priority item as far as the government is concerned even as we pursue reforms in distribution and privatisation,” he said.
The government approved APDRP in March 2003 to accelerate distribution sector reforms. Besides reducing AT&C losses, the scheme seeks to bring commercial viability in the power sector and reduce outages and interruptions.
The revised scheme would also focus on establishing baseline data of AT&C, sanctioning projects for improvement of distribution network and incentivising utilities to achieve the desired level of AT&C loss reduction.
Under APDRP, the government provides 50% central assistance for strengthening and upgradation of sub- transmission and distribution network.
The central assistance covers 50% of the project cost in the form of 50% grant and 50% loan.