The Uttar Pradesh government has deferred privatising the Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) till January 15 after employee protests, as the accumulated losses of power utilities top Rs 81,871 crore stretch its finances.
The losses of PVVNL account for the maximum share of Rs 19,373 crore or almost 25 per cent of the total amount, according to UP additional chief secretary and UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) chairman Arvind Kumar.
Kumar said the government was dexterously working on the roadmap to provide better power infrastructure to consumers and to revive the state power utilities from deep financial distress.
“Due to these losses, the state government has to provide annual grants. For the 2020-21 financial year, the state has made budgetary provision of Rs 12,922 crore to this end,” he informed.
Besides, to pay for the outstanding flowing out from the procurement of electricity for distribution in the state, funds from external agencies, including PFC and REC, were also raised, which also has to be repaid by the state government.
Meanwhile, the state government has claimed an increase of 3,973 megawatt (mw) power generation installed capacity in the thermal, hydro, solar and non-solar segments in UP over the last few years.
Besides, the transmission capacity has been augmented to 24,000 mw in 2019-20, up from 16,348 mw in 2016-17. The peak power demand in UP, which stood at 16,110 mw in 2016-17, has also touched 24,000 mw.
“The government funds, that are diverted to the energy sector owing to the accumulated losses and to ensure uninterrupted power availability, could be better utilised in public welfare programmes,” Kumar observed.
On Tuesday, the state’s power employees withdrew their indefinite strike after the government announced to defer the privatisation of PVVNL for three months.