Power Ministry should find out latent demand of electricity: Parliamentary Panel

Monday, 10 August,New Delhi: The Power Ministry has not spelt out its efforts to find out the latent demand of electricity in the country, which would help government framing energy policy, a Parliamentary panel said.

“The committee are not convinced with the reply of the Ministry as it merely mention the factual position and does not spell out efforts of the Ministry in this regard (latent demand),” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy said in its report tabled in the Lok Sabha today.

“Complete Statistics helps in policy planning and energy demand/production for the country. The committee therefore desire that the government must compile and consolidate comprehensive statistics taking into account the latent demand of energy assuming every person has to be provided at least fair minimum amount of electricity.”

Latent demand is a phenomenon that after supply increases, more of a commodity or service is consumed.

The Power Ministry in its reply to Committee had said, “The Central Electricity Authority brings out electricity demand forecast referred to as Electricity Power Survey’ in consultation with state governments and utilities. The latent demand is dynamic in nature and it is factored in the demand forecast exercise.”

The committee had noted that there was energy deficit of 4.2% and peak deficit of 4.5% during the year 2013-14.

On that basis, the panel asked the ministry, “Will there be no shortage of energy in the country if the supply is somehow increased by 4.5%?”

The ministry stated that these figures are provided by the Central Electricity Authority and they do not have figures for latent demand for energy.

The committee noted that under rural electrification programme the annual outlay for the current year is Rs 5,144.09 crore whereas the expenditure till August 2014 is Rs 76.15 crore.

The committee further said that from 2011-12 onwards, the utilisation of funds under the scheme has not been satisfactory.

Against the budgetary allocation of Rs 3,544 crore, Rs 4,900 crore and Rs 4,500 crore for the year 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14, the actual utilisation has been Rs 2237.31 crore, Rs 697.94 crore and Rs 2,938.52 crore respectively, it observed in the report.

It asked the ministry to expedite the pace of the scheme and ensure optimum utilisation of funds allocated under the programme.