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Rating of power boards to begin by December

New Delhi, Sept. 20 (PTI): Pursuing power sector reforms aggressively, the government today said the state electricity boards (SEBs) would start getting rated for the purpose of future investment and selection of locations for putting up plants by the power utilities.

Two agencies—Crisil and Icra—have been assigned the job for this purpose, Union power secretary R.V. Shahi said, adding that the ratings would be changed every six months incorporating the impact of steps taken by states during the period.

“There are 15 parameters including investment, corporatisation of SEBs, functioning of regulatory commissions and steps to keep tariff fixation away from political interference, among others,” Shahi said at a seminar on core sector reforms organised by credit rating agency Crisil.

“By October we are likely to complete the process of discussing with various states about this process and by December we would like to announce the first round of ratings for the SEBs,” he said.

He also said that a new power tariff policy is likely to be announced by December. The draft tariff policy has already been in circulation among the stakeholders and after completing the process of consultations with the regulatory commissions and industry bodies final modifications, if required, would be carried out by November, he added.

Shahi, however, clarified that tariff fixations has been the jurisdiction of state regulatory commissions, but pointed out that the tariff policy from the Centre would help in adopting a uniform approach by all the commissions.

On the ongoing distribution sector reforms, Shahi said that there has been a good degree of consensus among the political parties and exuded confidence that implementation of these reforms vigorously would bring the turnaround in the financial health of SEBs.

Expressing concern over the amount of technical and distribution losses happening in the states, Shahi said no particular role model could be suggested for all states as the nature of problems faced by them varied.

For example, in Tamil Nadu the collection of power usage is as high as 98 per cent but the problem is that there is no tariff for electricity used by agricultural sector, he said. Adding that in a state like Bihar the pilferage was upto 50 per cent.

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