ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bailing Out Unaccountability

The centre has approved a fi nancial restructuring plan to deal with the losses of state electricity distribution companies, which are around Rs 1.9 lakh crore, or more than 2% of the country's gross domestic product. There is little doubt that the crisis is a result of the companies, state electricity regulatory commissions, state and central governments, and banks failing to ensure the existing legal provisions were implemented. While this bailout may be unavoidable, the plan does not address the issue of institutional accountability that is at the root of this crisis.

Are We Serious about Our Energy Security?

There is an insuffi cient understanding of the seriousness of India's energy security problem and the impact this is having on the country's development. This has led to various crises in the energy sector, which, in turn, have prompted ad hoc emergency responses that do not address the underlying fundamentals.

Challenges in Rural Electrification

The Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana for rural electrification has made some achievements in grid extension, village electrification and rural household connections. But there are questions on the quality of power supply, sustainability of infrastructure and the contribution to rural development. A critical examination of the planning, implementation and sustainability of the RGGVY leads to suggestions of some corrective measures in this massive electrification effort.

WB-Orissa Model of Power Sector Reform-Cure Worse Than Disease

Girish Sant Subodh Wagle An analysis of the regulatory aspects of the much-vaunted Orissa model of power sector reform shows serious lacunae in the whole design. The Regulatory Commission (RC), which is the supreme decision-making authority, has complete autonomy and its decisions cannot be challenged in the courts or in any other appellate body. But the provisions for the RC's accountability are too weak and can be easily by-passed. Thus the structure is highly 'sabotage-prone' andean lead the power sector to a more serious and long-term crisis, making the cure worse than the disease. Yet many other states are jumping on the bandwagon of the World Bank-conceived Orissa model.

SEB Privatisation Transcending the Issue of Ownership

SEB Privatisation: Transcending the Issue of Ownership Subodh Wagle Girish Sant Shantanu Dixit WE are glad that EPW is continuing the debate on the important issue of power sector privatisation. Arun Ghosh, in his article (EPW, July 19) argues that APSEB has been working most efficiently and, with limited tariff hike, not just APSEB but all SEBs can raise the required resources for expansion. Hence, for him, privatisation of SEBs and their unbundling are not needed and are unnecessarily promoted by the World Bank and other pro-privatisation lobbies. To support his arguments, he cites data regarding plant availability, auxiliary consumption and the tariff hike required to achieve 3 per cent ROR. His opposition to privatisation arises mainly from fears of rent seeking by politicians and officials, expropriation of assets and excessive profiteering by the private sector and failure to arrive at sector-level optimality due to the proposed unbundling. He predicts that the proposed privatisation of APSEB will lead to high cost of power resulting in loss of access for rural consumers (including farmers) with adverse impacts on food security and development of rural areas.

How Reliable Are Agricultural Power Use Data

Power Use Data?
Shantanu Dixit Girish Sant Agricultural power use data available with the state agencies is shockingly unreliable and inadequate. Groundwater and power planning on the basis of this data is bound to be unrealistic.

Beneficiaries of IPS Subsidy and Impact of Tariff Hike

Beneficiaries of IPS Subsidy and Impact of Tariff Hike Girish Sant Shantanu Dixit Electricity tariff for irrigation pumpsets (IPS) is one of the most controversial issues in the power sector reforms. It is believed that poor agriculturists need this subsidy and without the subsidy, the food prices will substantially increase. Analysed here is the distribution of IPS subsidy among IPS users in Maharashtra, the likely impacts of consumption-based tariff and tariff hike. The analysis shows that flat (Hp-based) tariff results in highly skewed subsidy distribution and is regressive in nature. Most farmers can pay tariff much higher than usually assumed to be possible.

Dabhol Project PPA-Structure and Techno-Economic Implications

Structure and Techno-Economic Implications Girish Sant Shantanu Dixit Subodh Wagle This paper analyses the power purchase agreement (PPA) between Dabhol Power Company (DPC), the Enron subsidiary which is putting up the Dabhol power project, and the Maharashtra Electricity Board (MSEB). The different aspects of the PPA are examined and the techno-economic implications brought out.

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