Power Minister Piyush Goyal today exuded confidence that all states will join UDAY after Jharkhand became the first state to sign an MoU to avail benefits of the scheme meant for revival of debt-laden discoms.
“All states will come on board. It’s an optional scheme. Therefore, they get the confidence that we are not trying to impose anything,” Goyal told PTI in an interview.
“Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY) is not decided in this (ministry) office. UDAY scheme has been created or crafted with great deal of consultations and collaborations of all the stakeholders. I think it is a living example Team India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has envisaged.”
Jharkhand today signed an agreement with the Power Ministry to join UDAY, which is seen to offer the state a net benefit of approximately Rs 5,300 crore.
The central and state governments and JBVNL (Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd) signed the memorandum of understanding under the scheme — Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojna — here today for operation and financial turnaround of JBVNL.
The signing ceremony was held in the presence of the Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Raghubar Das.
Goyal said that as many as 15 states have agreed to join the scheme covering 90 per cent of total power distribution companies’ debt (Rs 4.37 lakh crore).
Earlier in the day, terming UDAY as “a win-win scheme for all”, Power Secretary Pradeep Kumar Pujari said most of the MoUs will be signed in the next few weeks.
Asked whether UDAY will resolve all issues related to the power sector, Goyal said, “There is never a one-size-fits-all solution. Therefore, within UDAY, we will innovate when it comes to each state.”
Explaining further, he said, “The beauty of UDAY is it allows that kind of flexibility to work together with states for better solutions. But the end objective is 100 per cent affordable energy access 24×7 to every citizen of India.”
Goyal put a premium on transparency, saying “I am holding myself and all of us responsible and you will be monitoring our performance”.
“I am going to put MoUs in the public (domain). The entire ministry is working on transparency. I am quite confident that it will be a big solution to most of the problems,” the minister added.
He also threw open the scheme to those states that have not unbundled their transmission, generation and distribution business and find it difficult to join the scheme.
“They can go for UDAY. The element of transferring debt from discoms to states will not apply to them. But they will enjoy all other benefits,” he clarified.
There are some 12 states and UTs which are facing this issue.
Goyal underlined the need for a dialogue with the states and have a separate dispensation. “We will bring them on board hopefully this fiscal or maybe, in the next six months. They are smaller states or UTs and the pressure is not so immediate also,” he noted.