The Central Government has approved a Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme- a Reforms-based and Results-linked Scheme with an outlay of Rs.3,03,758 crore over a period of five years from FY 2021-22 to FY 2025-26with the objective to improve the quality, reliability and affordability of power supply to consumers through a financially sustainable and operationally efficient distribution sector. The Scheme aims to reduce the AT& C losses to pan-India levels of 12-15% and ACS-ARR gap to zero by 2024-25 by improving the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of all DISCOMs/ Power Departments excluding Private Sector DISCOMs.
DISCOMs/ Power Departments would be able to access funds under the Scheme for Pre-paid Smart Metering, System Metering and Distribution infrastructure works for loss reduction and modernisation. The financial assistance for Distribution infrastructure works under the Scheme would be subject to meeting pre-qualifying criteria as well as upon achievement of basic minimum benchmarks by the DISCOM and evaluated on the basis of Action plans.
The Scheme provides for annual appraisal of the DISCOM performance against predefined and agreed upon performance trajectories including AT&C losses, ACS-ARR gaps, infrastructure upgrade performance, consumer services, hours of supply, corporate governance, etc. DISCOMs have to score a minimum of 60% of marks and clear a minimum bar in respect to certain parameters to be able to be eligible for funding against the Scheme in that year.
Implementation of the Scheme would lead to consumer empowerment by way of prepaid Smart metering to be implemented in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode and leveraging Artificial Intelligence to analyze data generated through IT/OT devices including System Meters, prepaid Smart meters to prepare system generated energy accounting reports every month to enable DISCOMs to take informed decisions on loss reduction, demand forecasting, Time of Day (ToD) tariff, Renewable Energy (RE) Integration and for other predictive analysis.
The Scheme has a major focus on improving electricity supply for the farmers through separation of agriculture feeders and for providing daytime electricity to them by convergence with Pradhan Mantri KisanUrja Suraksha EvemUtthanMahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) Schemefor solarisation of agriculture feeders.
All North-Eastern States including Sikkim and States/Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep will be treated as Special Category States.
The Office Memorandum of the Scheme has been issued on 20th July, 2021 and subsequently the operational Guidelines have been issued on 27th July, 2021. The Office Memorandum of Constitution of Monitoring Committee has been issued on 20th July, 2021/3rd August, 2021.