View: Why setting up of a National Power Distribution Company is the need of the hour


India can not proceed to attend indefinitely for voluntary discom reforms. It’s time for an NPDC.

Synopsis

The first main reform befell in the mid-Nineteen Nineties — the unbundling of SEBs into separate technology, transmission and distribution entities, with substantial technical and monetary help from the World Bank. This was adopted by two seminal interventions — Accelerated Power Development Reforms Programme (APDRP) in 2002 and the Electricity Act, 2003.

The suggestion for a National Power Distribution Company (NPDC) has been round for nearly three years. Post-independence, the energy sector comprised State Electricity Boards (SEBs) established below the Electricity Supply Act, 1948. These had been set up as vertically built-in utilities dealing with technology, transmission and distribution. SEBs operated for many years with out regard to business issues. Electricity grew to become a instrument for appeasement,

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