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‘India became net power exporter in last four years’

New Delhi, June 5: India became a net exporter of electricity for the first time during the last four years and aims to achieve the target of universal household electrification by the year-end three months ahead of the original deadline, Power Minister R.K. Singh said on Tuesday.

In a media briefing here on the government’s achievments in the four years of NDA rule at the Centre, he also referred to the issue of stressed projects, saying efforts are underway to revive some of the non-performing assets (NPAs) in the sector.
“India became a net exporter of electricity for the first time during the last four years, and 7,203 million units were supplied to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar in the last financial year,” Singh said.

“The government will connect every house in the country with electricity by December 2018,” he said.

In September last year, the government had launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) scheme aimed to connect all households with electricity March 2019.

With 100 per cent village electrification being achieved by the end of April, the government brought ahead the Saubhagya target of powering around 4 crore households three months ahead of the original deadline.

“We added 24,000 MW power generation capacity per year compared to 4,800 MW of earlier governments,” the Minister said.

He said 100,000 MW of power generation capacity and one lakh circuit km (ckm) of inter state transmission capacity had been added in the last 4 years.

Besides, 25,000 ckm of transmission capacity were added per year, as against 3,400 ckm during previous governments.

Referring to the woes of the power sector that contributes a major chunk of the massive NPAs, or bad loans, accumulated in the Indian banking system, Singh said that “banks are coming together and drawing up schemes to salvage power assets”.
“SBI (State Bank of India) and other banks have launched a scheme called Samadhan to revive assets and 11 plants have been selected under the scheme, while some power assets are getting revived under the Shakti scheme,” he said.

On renewable energy, he said that its capacity was doubled to 70 gigawatt (GW) in four years, while the country is poised to achieve 225 GW renewable energy capacity addition by March 2022, as against the current target of 175 GW.

“India’s current capacity stands at 70 GW, we will cross the 175 GW target well before 2022. We have new schemes like offshore wind, floating solar, which will help us over-achieve the current target,” he said. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita