While announcing the relief package in the wake of the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that the Centre’s share towards the marquee ₹3.03 trillion power discom reform scheme will be ₹97,631 crore.
The reforms-based result-linked power distribution sector scheme was announced in the union budget presented earlier this year by her and will subsume programmes such as the Integrated Power Development Scheme, Saubhagya and the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. The funds will be released to discoms subject to them meeting reform-related milestones.
The scheme is aimed to help reduce losses and improve the efficiency of electricity distribution companies (discoms). There is a compulsory prepaid and smart metering component to be implemented across the power distribution chain.
Mint reported about the proposed scheme on 16 December last year, wherein apart from the government contribution to the scheme’s corpus, the rest will be raised from multilateral funding agencies such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank.
Sitharaman said that the scheme’ ambit involves installing 250 million smart meters, 10,000 feeders, and 400,000 km of low-tension power transmission lines. She added that state-specific interventions have been planned in place of “one size fits all.”