The power sector in Assam is in a tough spot as the accumulated
loss of the three public sector power utilities of the State has
reached the huge amount of nearly Rs. 3,700 crore. This amount has
been calculated since the splitting of the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) in 2004, when the power utilities started with a clean sheet. The splitting process of the ASEB was completed in 2007 with the aim to bring the turnaround in the fiscal health of the State’s power sector in 2008-09. It was hoped that these utilities would become selfsustaining but they still continue to incur loss. In the total loss amount of Rs. 3,700 crore, Assam Electricity Grid Corporation Ltd.’s (AEGCL) share in this amount is around Rs. 442 crore and Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd.’s (APGCL) share is nearlyRs. 173 crore. The reasons resulting in this grim situation are attributed to various factors including higher
transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, lack of transparency in
metering and billing activities of the APDCL, lack of accountability and wasteful expenditure.
In case of Assam State Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC),
one of the reasons for incurring such heavy losses is that the tariff
awarded to the power utilities is nonremunerative. This means that they are granted a low tariff compared to the cost of power they supply to the consumers.The transmission and distribution loss in the State’s power sector is 26 per cent presently. An important fact here is that AERC has been fixing the T&D loss target to the APDCL and the AEGCL and only the loss approved by the AERC can
be passed on to the consumers.The rest of the loss must be absorbed
by the APDCL and the AEFCL themselves.The APDCL meter reading has a lot of flaws which is resulting in huge losses. So, this is one area which needs to be looked into and fixed as soon as possible. Tendency among officials working in the power sector to indulge in
wasteful expenditure also needs to be addressed and curbed.