Revision of smart meter rollout project in the works

Thecentral government is reportedly working to revise the smart meter rollout scheme under the proposedRs 3.1 trillion distribution reforms package announced in Union Budget 2021-22.

It plans moving to an aggregation model, similar to the bulk procurement strategy adopted for LED bulbs which helped reduce prices to almost a fifth in four years. In the first phase, the central government will target the rollout 100 million smart meters on a mission mode in 500 cities under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). In the second phase, the rural areas would be covered, requiring 150 million smart meters. The proposed 5-year distribution sector scheme aims to improve operational efficiency and financial sustainability of discoms by providing conditional financial support for infrastructure strengthening,