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Over dependence on private sector led to power crisis: NIPEF
The over dependence on private sector for bringing in power sector reforms in generation, transmission and distribution did not auger well for the country and there was a need for a balanced approach, said Northern India Power Engineers Federation (NIPEF ).
The NIPEF in its executive meeting held at Noida requested Narendra Modi-led NDA government to introduce a new energy policy to meet the growing challenges and negate over emphasis on privatization.

Padamjit Singh, the Chief Patron AIPEF said that power tariffs would remain low only when the central and state government utilities together accounted for 70% of the total power generation vis-a-vis private companies.

"The private sector generating companies are not following any rules and are operating thermal plants as per their will. Their only aim to maximize the tax free profits by exploiting the loop holes in power purchase agreements," said Singh.

NIPEF in its meetinng demanded that the experimentation in power distribution by way of franchisee system or the proposed amendment in Electricity Act 2003 to introduce supply licensee at local level must be stopped if affordable power is to be ensured to all the citizens of country.

Shaliender Dubey, Chairman AIPEF said that if the UPA Governments proposed concept of supply licensee is introduced then small time traders will try to pick the creamy section of consumers.

"This will impact revenue of state Discoms and make it more sick financially. Moreover energy accounting and measurement of  losses software have not yet developed  to handle the work of supply licensee using sub transmission network of Discom and Transco. Further  there is a tendency  to over-state AT & C  losses so as to favour the supplier and give him direct financial benefit," said Dubey.

Bhupinder Singh Secretary General NIPEF said that in Punjab the introduction of SAP scheme has failed and due to its errors/ problems and has created consumer distress and hardship due to wrong billing.

"When PSPCL has failed to computerised its SAP system how it will handle the computerisation of the accounts of the supplier / part / licensee. In case suppliers generator / source trips the power over drawl  impact will come on state Discom. How this UI charges will be loaded on supplier is not known," Bhupinder Singh.

This citizen journalist (V K Gupta) who is Secretary Finance NIPEF during the meeting said that the two decades of power reforms had failed to ensure adequate supply of electricity, decrease Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses, make sector profitable, introduce benefits of competition in power generation and distribution by way of reduced tariff and better consumer services.

There has been constant deterioration in the financial health of power sector even after the recent financial restructuring plan of Government. Now even the Government has been forced to subsidize even private power distribution companies, observed NIPEF,

NIPEF executive has called for reviewing Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) and coal allocation policies. While, India had sufficient coal reserves, yet due to faulty policies there was artificial coal shortage and coal was being imported making power costly for consumers.

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