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Power supply boost model

Patna, July 19: Bihar can take cue from a successful model in Maharashtra in terms of increasing the overall revenue rate from power supply.

Nicholas Ryan, a researcher at Harvard University, has suggested that the overall revenue rate of Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited could rise if the supply is increased to those areas, where payment of energy bills is higher.

“Of 39 lakh consumers in Bihar, only 7.5 lakh paid their energy bills in November, 2012. By March, 2014, the number of consumers went up by around two lakhs and the corresponding increase in number of paying consumers went over 12 lakh. During the same period, the total energy load in the state increased from 1,250MW to 2,400MW,” said Nicholas, while making a presentation at the fourth annual “Bihar Growth Conference” organised at a city hotel by International Growth Centre (IGC).

IGC is a research institute based jointly at the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Oxford University political science department that provides advice on economic growth to governments of developing countries.

The IGC opened its Bihar chapter in 2009 and it holds the two-day Bihar Growth Conference in collaboration with the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI).

“Based on the assumption that the revenue rate can be raised by increasing the power allocation to high-paying areas, we have started a pilot scheme in six districts in Bihar in association with the power company. A total of 16,000 household respondents and 68,000 business establishments have been enumerated under this pilot scheme. Our team would identify the areas, where payment of energy bills is high and the supply in those areas would be increased. Thereafter, it would be observed whether the overall revenue rate increases for the six districts or not together,” said Nicholas.

Energy secretary and Bihar State Power Holding Corporation Limited chairman-cum-managing director Pratyaya Amrit was chairing the session in which Nicholas made the presentation.

“We would definitely like to take benefits from the pilot project being conducted by Nicholas and his team. We also target to increase the total transmission capacity of the state from 3,000MW at present to 4,500MW next June. We intend to reduce the aggregate technical and commercial losses in Bihar from 46 per cent at present to 21 per cent by 2022,” said Amrit.

VAT panchayat

A month after chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi announced that a special cabinet for industries would be formed, the VAT (value added tax) panchayat, introduced in 2005 by former chief minister Nitish Kumar, has been revived.

A delegation of the Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries met Manjhi last evening where the chief minister assured them that the meeting of the VAT panchayat would be held at the chamber office in August.

Manjhi also announced that udyami panchayat, last organised in December last year, would be held along with the VAT panchayat the same day.