Aryadan says existing system sufficient to reduce transmission loss

The State government will not privatise the power distribution system of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed has said.

Replying to a notice for an adjournment motion given by A.K. Balan in the Assembly on Tuesday on the bid to privatise the power distribution system and the Central government directive to apprise it of the action plan for privatisation within a fortnight, Mr. Mohammed said the Centre had given three options for improving the efficiency of the system. It had proposed public-private participation, total privatisation, franchisee mode as well as other options for increasing the efficiency of the distribution system. All such options came up for discussions at a meeting of Power Ministers of the States recently. The government was of the firm opinion that the existing system was sufficient to reduce the transmission loss and need not experiment with other options.

At 17 per cent

The transmission loss in March 2006 was 22 per cent and now it had come down to 17 per cent. It should be further reduced to get the grant incentive for the State under the restructuring package mooted by the Centre. This would also make the onward movement of the KSEB, which had a debt burden of Rs.2,640 crore, more smooth, he said.

Mr. Balan alleged that the Power Secretary had informed the Centre that the government was willing to abide by the mandatory conditions in the package and hence the Centre had sought the action plan for privatisation within a fortnight. He accused the State government of giving in to the conditions laid by the Centre. The Minister said that 18 States had already approved the restructuring package, but the Kerala government was determined to continue the existing system. Total privatisation and public- private participation were irrelevant. Since the power supply to all consumers was metered, there was no need for the franchisee system. The government will inform the Centre of its resolve, he said.

Based on the Minister’s explanation, Speaker G. Karthikeyan denied leave of the House for the adjournment motion.

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