TN power discom reduces loss, on path to break even shortly, says minister

The Tamil Nadu government, which has been opposing the Centre's Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY), is now saying that the scheme is one reason for the state's electricity board turning around in the coming year.

Minister of Electricity, Prohibition and Excise P Thangamani tabled the department's policy note which stated that on the implementation of revenue augmentation and cost control measures, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco)'s loss reduced to Rs 29.75 billion in 2017-18 from Rs 139.85 billion in 2013-14.

"All necessary proactive steps are being taken to break even shortly," Thangamani said, quoting the note.

The gap between Average Rate of Realisation (ARR) and Average Cost of Supply (ACS) has been reduced from Rs 2.16 per unit during 2010-11 to Rs 0.33 per unit in 2017-18, and all efforts are being taken to bridge the gap, it added.

Thangamani said the state has taken over the Tangedco's loans worth  Rs 228.15 billion, subsequent to its joining the Centre's UDAY scheme.

This will save interest of Rs 28.82 billion and Rs 22.82 billion a year towards principal repayment, he added.

The government of Tamil Nadu has also provided Government Guarantee for Rs 76.05 billion to Tangedco for mobilisation of funds through issue of bonds for repayment of debts.

Tangedco is also able to avail cheaper power from the power exchange due to synchronisation of the southern grid with north, northeast, east and west.

The AT&C losses, which were 17.11 per cent during 2011-12, have reduced to an estimated 14.04 per cent in 2017-18, resulting in a revenue of Rs 22.50 billion per annum which would have been lost due to technical loss.

Reduction in expenditure to the extent of Rs 5.86 billion was achieved due to efficient coal management, import substitution and procurement of imported coal by e-tender with e-reverse auction for the first time.

This is in spite of an additional expenditure of Rs 8.35 billion due to increase in clean energy cess and increase in railway loading charges and also increase in coal cost to the tune of nine per cent, railway tariff, port charges by the Indian government.

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