The losses of state electricity boards have come down by a massive Rs 8,000 crore (Rs 80 billion) in 2003-04, thanks to the Centre's incentive-based initiative through accelerated power development and reform programme (APDRP).
"As many as 11 states have claimed their combined losses have come down by Rs 8,000 crore and asked for the incentives as per the APDRP of the Centre," power secretary R V Shahi told reporters on the sidelines of a conference organised by Powerline in New Delhi on Wednesday.
"We have to get their (states') claims audited...once they are proved, incentives will be released," he said, adding Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat were among the 11 states to have claimed for incentives.
Ministry of power, Shahi said, has already sanctioned projects worth Rs 16,500 crore (Rs 165 billion) to be implemented under APDRP for the next 2-3 years and a corpus ranging between Rs 4,500 crore (Rs 45 billion) to Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) has been sanctioned for the current fiscal.
The corpus includes contribution from the Centre and utilities engaged in projects in the distribution sector, he said.
Shahi, however, admitted that the distribution sector has by and large remained neglected for quite long as compared to the generation and transmission segments.
"We have now focussed on the revival of distribution sector and through APDRP, we have been able to bring in improvement to some extent in the last 2-3 years," he said.
Regarding continuation of the APDRP, Shahi said: "The investment component will slowly be phased out once the systems are revived but the incentive portion will continue and state utilities will be free to utilise the incentives for further investments."
He, however, dismissed reports that the finance ministry was not in favour of extending the APDRP due to financial burden, saying in such a case the projects worth Rs 16,500 crore for the next 2-3 years would not have been approved.
On the performance of individual utilities, Shahi pointed out that BSES in Delhi's distribution circle was least "responsive" in implementing schemes, be it APDRP or otherwise.
He also emphasised on the composition of reliability of power index with a view to categorise the states which have responded maximum to the consumers needs, especially with regard to quality and reliability.