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Naidu blames his predecessor for Andhra's power sector woes

Naidu said that between 2019 and 2024, when the YSRCP was in power, investors lost confidence and the brand image of Andhra took a severe beating. He said he was now looking forward to a regime of no power cuts, quality, and reliable power supply to the consumers at an affordable cost.

News Arena Network - Hyderabad - UPDATED: July 10, 2024, 06:15 AM - 4 mins read

N Chandrababu Naidu. File Photo.

Naidu blames his predecessor for Andhra's power sector woes

N Chandrababu Naidu. File Photo.


Traditionally, Andhra Pradesh has been witnessing a bitter blame game between political parties over the management of the power sector, a key indicator of the quality of governance in a state largely dependent on agriculture.

 

The newly-elected Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has blamed his predecessor YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for the power sector woes, alleging that his regime had pushed the state power distribution companies into a debt of Rs 49,596 crore in the last five years due to mismanagement.

 

Besides, the previous government had imposed a tariff burden of Rs 32,166 crore on the power consumers, Naidu said while releasing a white paper on the status of the power sector.

 

Naidu said that between 2019 and 2024, when the YSRCP was in power, investors lost confidence and the brand image of Andhra took a severe beating. He said he was now looking forward to a regime of no power cuts, quality, and reliable power supply to the consumers at an affordable cost.

 

Naidu further said that he was looking forward to promoting rooftop power generation, which would help consumers cut down on power costs and explore avenues to use green Hydrogen.

 

Stating that the target before the present government is to revive, restructure and rebuild the state power sector, the chief minister said his government would strive to bring down transmission losses and cost of generation and facilitate a transition to hybrid and green power generation.

 

In the white paper, Naidu pointed out that the previous Jagan government had imposed a burden on the power consumer nine times with power tariff and surcharge hikes in the last five years.

This includes Rs 16,699 crore in the name of power tariff hike, Rs 5,886 crore in the name of true-up and fuel surcharge and another Rs 3,977 crore in the name of true-up charges, besides Rs 5,604 crore in the name of electricity duty.

 

“The average power tariff, which was Rs 3.87 per unit till 2019 went up to Rs 5.83 per unit during the Jagan Mohan Reddy regime.

In fact, there was a proposal to impose an additional burden of Rs 17,137 crore for 2023-24 in the name of true-up and fuel surcharge and it would have been enforced had the YSRCP come back to power again,” he said.

 

Concerning the increased debt of state power distribution companies between 2019-2024, the chief minister said the total loans of discoms went up from Rs 62,826 crore in 2019 to Rs 1,12,422 crore in 2024. Besides, Naidu said that they resorted to short-term borrowings of Rs 10,892 crore at a higher interest rate of 10.11% to manage cash flows.

 

“There was also an additional burden due to short-term power purchases costing Rs 12,250 crore,” he said.

 

Talking about the way forward, the chief minister said there was a need to take up power sector reforms again and address the legacy losses of Rs 1,29,503 crore.

 

The white paper also noted that a delay in the commissioning of thermal power plants resulted in an additional burden of Rs 12,818 crore.

 

It particularly mentioned the delay in the commissioning of the Polavaram Hydro Electric Project, which led to an additional expenditure of Rs 4,737 crore. 

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