Four major States namely Uttar Pradesh , Bihar , Odisha and Maharashtra have agreed to join “UDAY” Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana, according to Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday, Goyal said, “ This is a very important day in the history of power sector in India where on one day, four very large and important States have agreed to come on board and joined the UDAY Scheme.”
He said that within 2 months of the announcement of UDAY Scheme , a total of 15 out of 29 States /UTs have voluntarily joined UDAY which covers 90 percent of the total debt of Discoms . The fifteen States are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar , Odisha , Maharashtra , Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir , Jharkhand , Gujarat , Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan .
According to the Minister, the scheme ‘UDAY’ has been launched to improve financial and operational efficiencies of power distribution companies (DISCOMs). It envisages to reduce interest burden, cost of power and AT&C losses. Consequently, DISCOM would become sustainable to supply adequate and reliable power enabling 24×7 power supply. The scheme provides that States would take over 75 percent debt of Discoms, as on 30th September, 2015 in two years.
UDAY has inbuilt incentives encouraging State Governments to voluntarily restructure their debts. These incentives include taking over of DISCOM debt by the States outside the fiscal deficit limits; reduction in the cost of power through various measures such as coal linkage rationalization, liberal coal swaps, coal price rationalization, correction in coal grade slippage, allocation of coal linkages at notified prices; priority/additional funding through schemes of MoP & MNRE; and, reduction in interest burden.
UDAY is different from earlier restructuring schemes in several ways including flexibility of keeping debt taken over outside fiscal deficit limit, reduction in cost of power and a series of time bound interventions for improving operational efficiency. UDAY provides for measures that will reduce the cost of power generation, which would ultimately benefit consumers.