Bihar Govt. may privatise power sector

Power minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav has stated to have said that if the power situation remains unchanged and Bihar continues purchasing power from NTPC and other sources, the day is not far when this sector will be handed over to private companies. He further stated that the way coal prices are shooting up and NTPC is increasing tariff on a regular basis, we have to look for some other way to improve the situation. He said the Centre has decided to import at least 50% of the total requirement of coal. It is anybody’s guess that the imported coal would be much costlier.

The minister denied that there was direct interference of the government in fixing power tariff. Ridiculing the charges of the Opposition, he said before 2004, under the Electricity Act, the rates were decided by the state government and approved by the cabinet. But after the constitution of Bihar State Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Bihar State Electricity Board approaches the commission with its proposal and the panel takes a final call.

“Everywhere in the country this system is prevalent. Recently in several states, power rates have been enhanced,” he said. Speaking on the proposed uninterrupted power supply to Patna, Bodh Gaya and Rajgir, he said these cities were being readied for quality power supply.

“If you want any privilege you have to pay for it,” Yadav said and advised consumers to save electricity and use it only when it was needed. The 24-hour power supply will start from December 1, for which consumers will have to bear 10% higher tariff. The 10% premium on power tariff has been allowed by the regulatory commission on the condition that the BSEB will supply quality power,” the minister said.

Source: Times of India