Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme
Part of: GS Prelims and GS -III – Discoms
In news The Union Cabinet has approved a Reforms-based and Results-linked, Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme recently.
About Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme
- The Scheme seeks to improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of all DISCOMs/ Power Departments excluding Private Sector DISCOMs.
- It provides conditional financial assistance to DISCOMs for strengthening of supply infrastructure.
- The assistance will be based on meeting pre-qualifying criteria as well as upon achievement of basic minimum benchmarks by the DISCOM evaluated on the basis of an agreed evaluation framework tied to financial improvements.
- Implementation of the Scheme would be based on the action plan worked out for each state rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
- Duration of the scheme: The Scheme would be available till the year 2025-26.
- Nodal agencies: REC Limited (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited) and Power Finance Corporation Ltd.have been nominated as nodal agencies for facilitating implementation of the Scheme.
- Scheme Objectives
- Reduction of AT&C losses to pan-India levels of 12-15% by 2024-25.
- Reduction of ACS-ARR gap to zero by 2024-25.
- Developing Institutional Capabilities for Modern DISCOMs
- Improvement in the quality, reliability, and affordability of power supply to consumers through a financially sustainable and operationally efficient Distribution Sector.
Other key Features of the scheme
- The Scheme provides for annual appraisal of the DISCOM performance against predefined and agreed upon performance trajectories including AT&C losses, ACS-ARR gaps, infrastructure upgrade performance, consumer services, hours of supply, corporate governance, etc.
- DISCOMs have to score a minimum of 60% of marks and clear a minimum bar in respect to certain parameters to be eligible for funding against the Scheme in that year.
- The Scheme has a major focus on improving electricity supply for the farmers and for providing daytime electricity to them through solarization of agricultural feeders.
- Under the scheme, works of separation of 10,000 agriculture feeders would be taken up.
- This Scheme converges with the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme, which aims to solarize all feeders, and provide avenues for additional income to farmers.
- Scheme is to enable consumer empowerment by way of prepaid Smart metering to be implemented in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode.
- It is proposed to install approximately 10 crore prepaid Smart Meters by December, 2023 in the first phase.
News Source: PIB