IFC for hike in tariff, cutting down staff

| 22 June 1998 10:24 IST

Different private firms may generate power in Goa, but it would be distributed through a sole private firm and not the electricity department, if a report prepared by the International Finance Corporation is implemented.

The proposal is to implement the report, which cost the state $ 1.20 lakh, by March next year. But the government is yet to take a final decision.

Its implementation however would mean tremendous hike in power and water tariff while also trimming over 30 per cent of the existing manpower in the state electricity department.

It proposes subsidised power tariff in only four sectors - public lighting, high tension and low tension in agro sector and domestic consumer not consuming more than 300 units per month. No subsidy for high class consumer, water supply, irrigation and cement industry, states the report.

It would obviously reduce the subsidy burden from Rs 50 crore to Rs 10 crore. But the subsidy would not be in the present form but exempting them from imposing energy tax, a new introduction proposed.

The tax would be collected by the electricity department and part of it would be handed over to the private firm who manages the distribution network.

No doubt the power tariff would go up as a result, but annual breakdown frequency would also be reduced to 25 hours from the existing rate of 111 hours. Similarly, the voltage fluctuations would be brought between -7 to +10 from the present rate of -32.

But this may result in over 1500 losing the secured government jobs, which is considered the prestigious thing in Goa till date. Goa in fact has one of the highest government employees in the country.

But the IFC proposes to cut down the highest employee - consumer ratio by one third. If implemented, the reduction would be from 12 employees to eight employees for 1000 consumers. The tiny state has over 4500 employees for 3.80 lakh consumers.

Equal stress has also been given on effective consumer service, quality management, massive automation and actively working consumer redressal machinery. The state electricity department's work however would be reduced to only purchasing power from the NTPC, collecting energy tax and administration.

As per the figures worked out by the IFC, taking into consideration Goa's annual GDP growth rate of 12 per cent, the state would require 379 MW of power by end of the century while it would zoom to 580 MW in next five years.

Operation and maintenance cost would be stable at Rs 52 crore per annum, but the T & D expenditure would differ yearwise, state the experts. From Rs 25 crore in 1999, it would vary between Rs 44 crore to Rs 51 crore in next five years. But it would increase to Rs 125 crore by 2014 and Rs 647 crore by 2029.

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