Thursday, July 25, 2024

Jagan ruined power sector: CM

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Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu has criticised the previous YSRCP government for imposing excessive charges on consumers, including True-up, Fuel Surcharge, and Electricity Duty. He claimed these charges resulted in a 45 per cent excess burden, affecting 53 lakh people and leading to a 98 per cent tariff increase for the poorest power consumers using up to 50 units.
At a media conference on Tuesday at the Secretariat in Amaravati, Naidu released a white paper on the power sector. He revealed that the debt of power companies increased by 79 per cent during the YSRCP’s five-year rule. The Chief Minister emphasised the need for tariff control and expressed plans to seek Central government assistance to revive the power sector.
Naidu blamed the previous government for causing over Rs 1.29 lakh crore in losses to the power sector.
He highlighted a tariff burden of Rs 32,166 crore on consumers, an increase in AP power utilities’ debts by Rs 49,596 crore, and losses due to inefficient governance amounting to Rs 47,741 crore.
He attributed these losses to delays in commissioning thermal power plants, the Polavaram Hydro Electric Project, and the additional impact of short-term power purchases. The interest burden from borrowings amounted to Rs 10,892 crore, with accumulated losses from the poor performance of distribution companies (DISCOMs) and the Andhra Pradesh Power Development Company Ltd (APCPDCL) totalling Rs 9,618 crore. The state’s DISCOMs suffered lower credit ratings, leading to a 1.1 per cent increase in interest rates.
Naidu criticised the previous government for stripping incentives committed by the TDP administration between 2014 and 2019 and renegotiating solar and wind power purchase agreements (PPAs), resulting in legal challenges.
The Chief Minister recalled the TDP’s introduction of power sector reforms 1.0 and 2.0 and emphasised the necessity of reforms 3.0 to transform the sector and empower society. He noted that the earlier TDP governments successfully executed the first two phases of power sector reforms.
As part of energy sector reforms 3.0, Naidu outlined his plans to address over Rs 1.29 lakh crore in losses, restore investor confidence, rebuild the Andhra Pradesh brand, and provide quality, reliable power supply at affordable rates, eliminating power cuts in a rapidly transforming sector.
He highlighted the increase in power utilities’ debt from Rs 62,826 crore in FY 2018-19 to Rs 1.12 lakh crore in FY 2023-24. Naidu pointed out that short-term borrowings at high interest rates of 10.11 per cent to manage cash flows added an extra burden of approximately Rs 10,892 crore over the last five years. Additionally, outstanding receivables increased from Rs 12,945 crore to Rs 52,091 crore.

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