Chandrababu Naidu blames YSRCP for Andhra Pradesh’s power sector losses of Rs 1.29 lakh crore

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said the state has suffered losses of over Rs 1.29 lakh crore in the power sector, blaming the previous YSRCP government for it.

The Chief Minister released a white paper on the state of Andhra Pradesh power sector, which said that while the tariff burden on consumers stood at Rs 32,166 crore, the debt of Andhra Pradesh power companies stood at Rs 49,596 crore and losses due to inefficient management stood at Rs 47,741 crore.

“We have introduced energy sector reforms 1.0 and 2.0, now we need reforms 3.0 to transform the sector and empower the people,” Naidu said.

“On the one hand, the burden is heavy to bear, on the other hand, expectations and public opinion looks at us with admiration and we have to see how to revive the state. We will ask all stakeholders how to get out of this dump with minimal damage. It is a very thin line,” he added.

The Telugu Desam Party leader said the initial and subsequent phases of power sector reforms were implemented during the previous governments led by his party.

Naidu attributed the sector’s financial losses to delays in commissioning of thermal power plants, Polavaram hydropower project and additional costs related to short-term power purchases, among other factors.

He estimated the interest burden on loans at Rs 10,892 crore and the cumulative losses on account of poor performance of distribution companies (DISCOMs) and Andhra Pradesh Power Development Company Ltd (APPDCL) at Rs 9,618 crore.

“It’s taxpayers’ money. It’s a lesson in what happens when an ineffective and inefficient government comes to power. How it burdens people, how it becomes a curse for the state. It’s a case study,” he said.

The chief minister criticised the previous YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government for withdrawing incentives earlier promised to companies by the TDP administration between 2014 and 2019 and for renegotiating solar and wind power purchase agreements (PPAs), which led to legal disputes.

Naidu also accused Reddy of increasing the financial burden on the public by raising electricity tariffs through additional levies, resulting in a 98 per cent increase in rates for households with the lowest power consumption.

“Poor consumers were hit by higher tariff hikes ranging from 78-98 per cent compared to 29 per cent for middle-class consumers. A total of 153 lakh consumers were affected.”

Referring to the debt of power utilities, Naidu pointed out that it has increased from Rs 62,826 crore in the fiscal year 2018-19 to Rs 1.12 trillion in the fiscal year 2023-24.

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Rishabh Sharma


July 10, 2024