Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked the states to clear dues of power utilities estimated to be around Rs 2.5 lakh crore to strengthen the energy sector which has to play a big role in accelerating the growth.
The energy and power sectors have a huge role to play in accelerating India's progress in the next 25 years, he said, adding "the strength of the energy sector is also important for Ease of Doing Business and is equally important for Ease of Living."
The Prime Minister was addressing the closing function of the 'Ujjwal Bharat Ujjwal Bhavishya Power @2047' event virtually.
Modi highlighted the financial problems being faced by the power utilities and asked the states to clear the dues as soon as possible.
"It is not a matter of 'Rajniti' (politics) but pertains to 'Rashtra Niti' and nation building", he added.
The Prime Minister regretted that about Rs 2.5 lakh crore of companies responsible for activities ranging from the generation of electricity to the door-to-door delivery are 'trapped'.
He said that different states have outstanding dues of more than Rs 1 lakh crore towards power utilities.
"They have to give this money to power generation companies," he said, adding that many government departments and local bodies owe more than Rs 60,000 crore rupees to power distribution companies.
The Prime Minister said that power companies are not able to get even the money that has been committed for subsidy on electricity in different states on time and in full. The arrear works out to be more than Rs 75,000 crore.
Modi said losses in the power distribution sector are in double digits, whereas in the developed countries these are in single digit.
The event was attended by several chief ministers, union ministers and officials, besides beneficiaries of various schemes.
The Prime Minister said that in the last eight years, about 1,70,000 MW of electricity generation capacity has been added in the country.
One Nation One Power Grid, he said, has become the strength of the country today.
About 1,70,000 circuit kilometre transmission lines have been laid to connect the entire country.
Furthermore, by giving 3 crore connections under the Saubhagya Scheme, the country is also nearing the saturation goal, he added.
Modi said energy and power sectors have a huge role to play in accelerating India's progress in the next 25 years.
The strength of the energy sector is also important for ease of doing business and is equally important for ease of living, he said, and added the projects launched on Saturday are significant steps in the direction of green energy and energy security for the county.
He dedicated and laid the foundation stone of various green energy projects of NTPC worth over Rs 5,200 crore.
Modi inaugurated the 100 MW Ramagundam Floating Solar Project in Telangana and the 92 MW Kayamkulam Floating Solar Project in Kerala.
He laid the foundation stone of the 735 MW Nokh Solar Project in Rajasthan, Green Hydrogen Mobility Project in Leh and Kawas Green Hydrogen Blending with Natural Gas project in Gujarat.
The Prime Minister also launched a national solar rooftop portal, which will enable online tracking of the process of installation of rooftop solar plants, starting from registering the applications to release of subsidies in residential consumers' bank accounts after installation and inspection of the plant.
He also launched the power sector's 'Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme', aimed at improving the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of the DISCOMs and power departments.
With an outlay of over Rs 3 lakh crore over a period of five years (2021-22 to 2025-26), the scheme aims to provide financial assistance to discoms for modernisation and strengthening of distribution infrastructure, focussing on the improvement of the reliability and quality of supply to end consumers.
'Ujjwal Bharat Ujjwal Bhavishya Power @2047' was organised as part of the ongoing 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav'.