Despite increased capacity and improved fuel supplies, power generation in the country has plunged in recent months.

Power generation grew just 1.73% in March, the lowest in 17 months, as capacity utilization of thermal power plants plunged 3.77 percentage points from a year ago.

Although power deficit, too, has come down in recent months, lower demand could well be a factor in the plunge in the growth of power production.

Partly, this lower demand could be explained by weaker irrigation needs owing to the good winter rains, but it is mostly because of lower offtake from the state electricity boards, which are struggling with poor finances.

Unless the poor health of the distribution companies is cured, it will jeopardize the prospects of the power industry.