The government on Thursday ruled out giving another extension to various states for unbundling their electricity boards as part of measures to encourage non-government entities in the power sector.
"Some of the state electricity boards have already been re-organised. We have also started rating the performance of SEBs, for which we have roped in ICRA and Crisil. We are not going to give second extension to states for unbundling their boards," power secretary R V Shahi said at a confederation of Indian Industry conclave.
There was a need for creating credible non-government players in the sector, especially in power distribution, he said, adding so far private participation has been 'lukewarm'. Even in states where private players were involved in distribution, they have not been very successful, Shahi said referring to Delhi and Orissa.
As per the Electricity Act, all states had to unbundle their boards by June this year. However, 13 states were given extension ranging between two months to one year. Assam was given two months and Kerala one year. Other states included Maharashtra, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat.
Assam was later given extension for two more months. Shahi also ruled out review of electricity act saying the Act was under implementation and not open for general review.
Speaking on the occasion, planning commission member Kirit Parikh said progress in the distribution sector has been 'disappointingly small' so far.
He also expressed concern over the practice of giving free power and said metered power should be given to farmers to check misuse.