Piysuh Goyal says he hopes to bring about a revolution in how the sector is run

Asserting that the power deficit in the country was much graver than data suggested, Union Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal on Friday said he hoped to bring about a revolution in the running of the sector.“Statistics can fool anybody. Shortages do not reflect the latent demand. Going by [prevailing] data, the demand-supply gap in the power sector [appears not to be] much, but we feel that the situation is serious. In a reasonably good time, we will be able to bring about a revolution in the power sector,” Mr. Goyal told a press conference here, in response to a question seeking data on the demand-supply gap.

Non-committal

The Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy remained non-committal on the issue of a likely revision of natural gas prices, saying the matter pertained to Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s Ministry.

Criticising the earlier United Progressive Alliance government, the MoS said: “We have inherited nearly six years of policy paralysis.”

Mr. Goyal said the Centre would seek to “replicate” the Gujarat government’s experiments with the power sector — the Jyotigram Yojana in particular — to ensure round-the-clock power supply for all.

“Our aim is to bring power to all homes by replicating the work under this Yojana. The first task of my Ministry is to provide 24/7 power across India,” he said.

Mr. Goyal said the government had taken certain steps to improve the quality of coal and plant efficiency.

The UPA government had not clearly defined “inviolate areas” to restrict coal mining and, as a result, Coal India Ltd. had lost out on production for three years, he said, advocating long-term, sustainable solutions.

Highlighting the potential of renewable energy in meeting India’s power demand, Mr. Goyal said the Centre had a host of policies in the area and there was a need to “dovetail” renewable energy sources with the traditional ones.

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