Mumbai, Feb 1 : The Narendra Modi government is steadily moving in the direction of disinvestment and people will be facing high inflation.Tata Power said on Monday it has received a letter of intent from the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) for distribution and retail supply of electricity in five circles of North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha (NESCO) constituting areas of Balasore, Bhadrak, Baripada, Jajpur and Keonjhar.
After the lockdown triggered by pandemic has disrupted India’s economy and led to increased unemployment and slashed wages, a sustained period of higher food inflation is now pushing millions of families to cut back on food expenditure.
Further move by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Budget 2021 of imposing Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel will bring additional burden on the consumer threatening a spell of nutritional poverty and malnutrition among children.
Instead of putting money into the pockets of middle class and lower middle class, Modi Government of shunning the responsibility by privatising the government entities will dent future consumption and jeopardise economic recovery.
Tata Power will hold 51 per cent equity with management control and the state-owned Grid Corporation of Odisha (GRIDCO) will have the remaining 49 per cent equity stake in the company, according to conditions of the bid documentation.
With inclusion of additional distribution utility of Odisha, Tata Power will now serve the entire population of Odisha with nearly 90 lakh consumers experiencing uniform processes and synergies in operations.
The expansion will enhance Tata Power’s consumer base to nearly 1.2 crore from the present 96 lakh across Mumbai, New Delhi, Ajmer, central, southern and western parts of Odisha.
“We are committed to provide reliable, affordable and quality power supply along with superior customer service, backed by innovative technology,” said CEO and Managing Director Praveer Sinha.
“We are thankful to the Odisha government and OERC for giving us this opportunity and reaffirming Tata Power’s commitment of ‘Lighting up Lives’ for the people of Odisha,” he said in a statement.
With this takeover, the company’s distribution circles will expand to NESCO with geographical spread of more than 27,500 sq km and serve over 19 lakh consumers with annual input energy of 5,450 million units.
It will manage a network of more than 90,000 circuit kilometres for a license period of 25 years.
The discoms are cash-strapped and need some revival package for maintaining 24X7 power supply.
The Centre in November 2015 introduced the UDAY (Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) scheme for the revival of the debt-laden discoms.
Under the scheme, discoms were envisaged to turn around financially within three years from signing agreements under it.
Though Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech last year had said that the distribution sector, particularly the DISCOMS, were under financial stress. Further measures to reform DISCOMs would be taken, she had said.