Orissa cabinet decides to pump Rs 1,200 crore to strengthen electricity distribution system

The meeting of state Cabinet held in the Orissa Secretariat on Tuesday under the Chairmanship oh the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. After privatising power sector over a decade ago, the state government on Tuesday decided to pump Rs 1,200 crore to strengthen distribution system in order to provide quality electricity to consumers.

Though power distribution had been assigned to private parties ever since the reform, the state Cabinet decided to invest in the sector in a bid to make it viable and effective, said chief secretary Bijaya Kumar Patnaik after the cabinet meeting.

Stating that private distribution companies would also invest equal amount to strengthen distribution system, the chief secretary said Rs 2400 crore would be spent in 4 years.

While the state government would invest Rs 500 crore from grants available from the 13th Finance Commission, rest amount would be mobilised from different sources.

The state suffers T&D; (transmission and distribution) loss of about 39 per cent mostly due to old wires, ineffective transformers and other equipment. Government would distribute the amount among distribution companies basing on their consumer ratio.

"In first phase the government will allocate money to distribution companies as loan on varied interest which could later be transformed as grants basing on their performances," the chief secretary said.

The distribution companies would be given a target of reducing their T&D; loss by three per cent per year. In the process, the government aimed to reduce the T&D; loss by 12 per cent in next four years."The distribution companies which successfully reduce the T&D; losses will be rewarded with transforming the loans into grant," he said.

Presently, four distribution companies - CESU (central electricity supply utility), Nesco (northen electricity company), Wesco (western electricity company) and Southco (southern electricity distribution company), were working in four different regions of the state.

While the state looked after the Cesco, three other distribution companies were being managed by the Reliance Energy.

It has been fixed target for procurement of 32 lakh MT food grains during the current year. Out of 32 Lakh MT 3 lakh MT rice from Millors and 29 lakh MT rice to be procured from government organizations. The PACS will directly procure from the farmers and will pay them through bank account. The Women SHGs and Pani Panchayats will also procure rice. The FCI will procure 4 Lakh Ton rice. Last year it was target to procure 5 lakh Ton but Procured 8 Lakh Ton. Action is being taken to construct godown of 4 lakh Ton capacity.

It has been decided to open four evening courts in Bhubaneswar. The notification has already been published. The State Procution Act has been amended. The experience of the APPs has been revised from 7 years to 2 years. Similarly the Orissa Service Code has been amended. The deputation rules has been amended.

Similarly the power for grant of Pension has been amended. The appointment of 1265 lecturers of 1998 has been regularized.

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