September 30, 2020

Power subsidy boon

Patna: The good performance of power companies in Bihar on the aggregate transmission and commercial (AT&C) losses is set to reduce the subsidy burden of the state government in 2018-19.

Apart from providing the subsidy amount to power companies for giving relief to consumers, the state also gives additional funds to the companies to meet their AT&C losses.

In 2017-18 the state government had given a subsidy of Rs 2,952 crore, which had been passed on to the consumers, while another Rs 1,476 crore had been given to the power companies to meet the AT&C loss.

In 2018-19, the state government has announced a subsidy of Rs 4,137 crore that would be passed on to the consumers whereas the subsidy for AT&C losses has not yet been announced.

“The AT&C subsidy in the current fiscal is likely to be a little above Rs 955 crore, which would be almost Rs 500 crore less than the previous year. The formal announcement would be made once a proposal in this regard would get a cabinet approval,” a senior state government official said.

AT&C loss refers to the total loss of power because of technical or commercial reasons for which money does not come back to the power companies. A higher AT&C percentage is considered to be bad for the companies because they lose money for percentage of the loss.

The expected reduction in the AT&C subsidy amount has to do with the gradual decline in the loss rate.

While the AT&C loss was 42 per cent in 2016-17, it came down to around 34 per cent in 2017-18. The power companies have set the target of bringing it down by another five to six per cent in 2018-19.

“We are confident of bringing the AT&C loss down to at least 29 per cent this fiscal. We can say so on the basis of steps that we are taking for plugging the gaps in our system,” said a senior official of Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited.

Some of the major steps which the power companies are taking, include stern action against those who have illegal power connection. Timely generation of bills and collection as well as snapping of connections to those defaulting on bill payment, are some other steps to check the losses.

Also, steps have been taken to renovate the transmission and distribution lines to reduce the percentage of loss incurred under this head.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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