With the massive power breakdown in the Northern Grid impacting supply in eight States of Northern India, industry chambers, on Monday, called for major reforms in the power sector to bridge the increasing gap between demand and supply.

“One of the major reasons for the collapse of the power grid is the major gap between demand and supply. There is an urgent need to reform the power sector, and bring about infrastructural improvements to meet the new challenges of the growing economy,” Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Secretary-General, Rajiv Kumar, said.

The FICCI Secretary-General said there was no possibility of the demand and supply gap being plugged till the Government encouraged investments in power generation and transmission. The condition of state electricity boards was also bad. They were in huge debt and not able to buy power from private sector, he added.

CII Director-General Chandrajeet Banerjee said that the continuous power problem was affecting all the industries in the country. “We need to focus urgently on reforming power sector. There is a tremendous demand-supply gap in the country,” he said.

In a statement , Assocham said, “India suffers peak power deficit of about 12 per cent. The situation is getting worse with the weakening monsoon and less availability of fuel primarily coal.”

While every attempt should be made to ensure coal supply to power plants, it was imperative that the states followed grid discipline and introduced reforms in the power sector, the statement added.