FM unveils power sector reforms under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

The finance minister has unveiled significant power sector reforms as part of the “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” to mitigate the Covid-19 impact on the economy. The government has announced tariff policy reforms to encourage consumer rights, promote industry and ensure sustainability of the sector. Progressive reduction of cross-subsidies, implementation of service standards for discoms, penalties for load shedding, time-bound grant of open access, competitive bidding for generation and transmission projects, no regulatory assets, timely payment to gencos, smart prepaid metering, and direct benefit transfer of subsidies are some of the key reforms announced. In addition, the finance minister has announced privatisation of the power departments or utilities in union territories, which will serve as a model to be emulated by other utilities across the country, leading to better consumer service, and improve operational and financial efficiency in power distribution.