Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal launched the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) Web Portal & Mobile App, here in New Delhi. It would track and monitor the progress of DISCOMs on operational and financial parameters under the UDAY scheme. An important part of the ‘Digital India Initiative’, the portal/app will ensure transparency, enhance accountability of various stakeholders and facilitate view of near real time progress, enabling consumers to demand better services for themselves.
Giving details of the UDAY portal/app, the Minister informed that it would provide details of latest progress made by various DISCOMs, as recent as last month/quarter. The DISCOM-level data will be integrated into State level and National level, which will be processed and used for advanced performance analysis. The National, State and DISCOM level dashboards will thus provide a snapshot of latest financial and operational performance at various levels in public domain.
The Minister said that the portal/app is a logical follow-up to the MoUs signed by the States under UDAY, not only to enable monitoring of the progress made by the DISCOMs at Central Ministry level, but also for making future schemes/plans for improving DISCOMs performance. This will be the first time when the performance metrics of various DISCOMs will be available in a single platform, which shall promote healthy competition amongst the DISCOMs/States. This will bring about an ethos of ‘Competitive Federalism’ among different States to achieve best progress in public schemes, especially in the power sector, Goyal added.
Praising the advent of transparency and accountability with the launch of web portals and mobile apps, Goyal said that the implementation of public programmes and schemes has become a ‘Citizen Process’, as these portals and apps have placed all the information in public domain for scrutiny. Suppliers can also develop their capabilities by understanding the focus area of the Utilities, resulting in improved performance by them, he added.
Giving examples of achievements in UDAY among States, the minister quoted the Rajasthan Discom where, in less than two years, annual losses of around Rs. 15000 crores will soon be converted into profits. He also talked about Haryana’s progress, where as an example, all 173 villages in Panchkula have received 24×7 Power Supply.
The Minister encouraged the officials of the Ministry to think innovatively and come out with performance based rewards for best performing States under UDAY. He also talked about starting a ‘Citizen Poll’ to receive feedback on the ground level achievements of different schemes, which would help recalibrating their implementation process.
During the event, the States of Telangana and Assam joined UDAY by signing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the Ministry of Power for operational and financial turnaround of their respective DISCOMs, making the tally in the UDAY Club to 20. States with over 90 per cent of total DISCOM debts to be covered under UDAY after Tamil Nadu comes on board, Goyal added.
While the Government of Telangana would take over Rs 8923 crores of the total Rs 11897 crores of DISCOM debt, the Government of Assam would take over Rs 928 crores out of total Rs.1510 crores DISCOM Debt (being 75 per cent of their respective DISCOM debt outstanding as on 30.09.2015, as envisaged in the scheme) and the balance debt would be re-priced or issued as State guaranteed DISCOM bonds. This would amount to annual saving in the interest cost of Rs 387 crores to Telangana and Rs 37 crores to Assam respectively. The interest cost on future borrowings is also expected to reduce, providing a saving of around Rs 30-40 crores to these States.
In case of Telangana, the reduction in AT&C losses and transmission losses to 9.95 per cent and 3 per cent respectively is likely to bring additional revenue of around Rs.1476 crores, during the period of turnaround, whereas additional revenue of Rs 699 crores would accrue to Assam on reduction of AT&C losses and transmission losses to 15 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively.
The gains to these states through Demand Side interventions in UDAY such as usage of energy-efficient domestic as well as industrial/commercial equipment is expected to be around Rs 1200 crores & Rs 260 crores respectively. The States of Telangana and Assam are also expected to benefit around Rs 2250 crores and Rs 520 crores respectively on account of the support being extended by the Centre through various coal reform measures.
An overall net benefit of approximately Rs 6116 crores and Rs 1663 crores would accrue to these States viz. Telangana and Assam respectively, under UDAY, by way of savings in interest cost, reduction in AT&C and transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency, coal reforms etc. during the period of turnaround.
Other dignitaries present during the event were P.K. Pujari, Secretary, Power, Rajeev Kapoor, Secretary, MNRE, B.P. Pandey, Special Secretary, Power and CMD, REC Ltd, Ajay Mishra, Special Chief Secretary, Energy, Government of Telangana, Zareen Rahman Ahmed, Secretary, Power, Government of Assam and other senior officials of the Ministry of Power and the PSUs under the Ministry. State Power Secretaries from UDAY States were also connected through video conferencing.