Government Mulls Imposing a Penalty on DISCOMs for Unscheduled Power Cuts

The provision has been introduced in the draft amendments to the National Tariff Policy, 2016


Soon, distribution companies (DISCOMs) might have to pay a penalty for load shedding other than unforeseeable conditions or technical faults.

R.K. Singh, the Minister of Power, apprised the Lower House of Parliament in a written reply that the government is currently mulling the imposition of penalties on DISCOMs for such cases.

“There is a provision for imposing penalties on DISCOMs for power cuts not caused by technical faults in the proposed draft amendments to the National Tariff Policy, 2016. The draft amendments are currently under inter-ministerial consultations,” Singh said.

In line with this, the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi, Anil Baijal, recently approved the proposal put forward by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government regarding compensation for residents in case of unscheduled power cuts. The proposal entails an hourly compensation for unscheduled outages by DISCOMs in the national capital. The compensation earned by consumers will be adjusted against their monthly power bills.

In the first week of the monsoon session, MPs also asked the minister about the steps being taken by the government to provide 24×7 power to every citizen of the country. The minister responded that electricity falls under the concurrent list and providing 24×7 electricity to all the consumers is the primary responsibility of concerned state governments and respective DISCOMs.

“All the state governments and union territories have signed the “24×7 Power for All” to provide electricity to all from April 1, 2019. To achieve this target, the central government is helping through various schemes like Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), Ujwal Discoms Assurance Yojana (UDAY), and Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (SAUBHAGYA),” Singh said.

In an effort to encourage the DISCOMs to achieve aggressive targets, the Ministry of Power (MoP) is also thinking of providing incentives to distribution companies (DISCOMs) and its employees who meet the household electrification target under the SAUBHAGYA program at the earliest. A reward of ₹5 million (~$ 0.073 million) for employees of the state utilities and a grant of ₹500 million (~$7.28 million) for DISCOMs are being considered by the ministry.

Image credit: James Rock