New Delhi, Sep 15; The Centre is working in collaboration with states to find out a permanent solution to make stress of discoms a “thing of the past”, Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said here today.
Talking about his recent meetings with Chief Secretaries of the states on power issues, including ailing discoms, the minister said, “We had very good meetings. The states and the Centre are working together as one. The states are also conscious of their responsibilities.”
In two to three years, the discom distress would become a thing of the past, he added.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the National Biogas Convention 2015.
“The Centre is handholding them and supporting them in various ways to ensure that together we don’t look at the short-term solution to this problem (of ailing discoms),” the minister said.
He further said the government is committed to finding a permanent solution of the discom problem and “I am delighted that all the states uniformly have supported our ideas”.
Goyal had earlier said the Centre cannot be considered as a bailout bank for helping debt-ridden power distribution companies, and states will have to find a way out of the crisis.
The combined debt of power distribution companies (discoms) stands at over Rs 3 lakh crore. Faced with acute financial stress, many of these are unable to buy power.
The minister had clarified: “Some states have serious crisis (power) looming large. But at the end of the day, the Government of India can only facilitate the turnaround of these discoms. And we cannot finance it.”
On extension of the financial restructuring package (FRP), he had said the government has not finalised it.
Originally introduced in April 2012, FRP was implemented in October 2013.
In an attempt to restore power purchasing capacity of the debt-heavy discoms and enable banks to recover their loans, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved the scheme for financial restructuring of state discoms in September 2012