New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday urged states to ensure digital payment of electricity bills through aadhaar- linked bank accounts.
“It is not mandatory, but it is of interest for all of you. Because if you pay bill digitally through it, then it would be properly logged in that you paid the bill… This initiative is being aimed at helping the public. The efforts are being made (in this regard),” Power Minister Piyush Goyal said here. He was speaking during the two-day conference of power, new and renewable energy and mines ministers of states and Union Territories (UTs). Stating that it was the discretion of states whether to link electricity bill to aadhaar-enabled bank accounts or not, the minister said “I think it is in the interest of the consumers”.
Goyal said further the government is redrafting the power allocation policy for states. “We are working out the formula. We are relooking at how we can make it (power allocation policy) more robust,” the minister said.
At present, the power is shared as per the Gadgil formula, which sets the terms for devolution of central assistance for state plans. The minister further said maximum power will be given to those states that would encourage setting up of nuclear plants. Goyal clarified that if any state which does not allow nuclear plant to come up within the state but wants to enjoy the fruit of one at some neighbouring location, that should not be allowed. “That is what we are planning to bring it in the policy,” he added.
A call has been taken about bidding of wind projects of around 1,000 mw, which will start by the end of the month.
NTPC, he said, had floated a new concept paper on pooling of fixed charges of its power plants. “NTPC had floated a new concept paper. If we pool the fixed cost of all the plants of the PSU and if an average fixed cost is put, then every state of the country will get power at cheaper rates and hundreds of crore rupees of overall power sector and discoms would be saved,” the minister said. This will be a “significant step” for the Uday scheme aimed at revival of debt-laden discoms.