Promising not just “reliable” but also “low-cost” power to consumers in the capital, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday inaugurated three power projects in electorally crucial East Delhi.
Inaugurating a 400-kV substation at Harsh Vihar in Northeast Delhi, Jaitley said the “underdeveloped” East Delhi region has been the government’s “first priority”, especially when it comes to its power problems.
“East Delhi, for historical reasons, has remained underdeveloped. There are resettlement colonies here and people from different parts of the country migrate to this area. To provide them basic amenities is a challenge for every government. This is why it has been our first priority to solve these problems. One of the first power projects have been initiated in this area so that every house gets power,” Jaitley said.
He also laid the foundation stone of a 400-kV substation for Power Grid in Rajghat and a 220-kV substation of Delhi Transco Ltd in Preet Vihar.
During the event, the finance minister illustrated government’s initiatives to provide power at a low cost.
“If the cost of power is high, a common man has to spend a major share of his income paying the bills. The second problem is that if there is scarcity of power, industries have to purchase power at a higher cost. In turn, the burden falls on the common man. For the development of the country, you don’t just require regular power supply, but also cheap power. Our government will continue to strive to provide low-cost power to the common man,” Jaitley said.
Jaitley said the coal ordinance introduced by the government is one such move to provide reliable and low-cost power. “The aim is to ensure that any company which wants to produce power has its own coal mines and doesn’t have to import coal at a high cost. Also, coal mines allocated for the power sector will be auctioned differently — through descending reverse auction — to minimise the impact on power tariffs. In this case, qualified bidders will bid above the pre-determined floor price,” Jaitley said.
Jaitley praised Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s move to introduce the amendment to the Electricity Act to give more power to consumers.
“Earlier, the consumer could not choose a distributor. But now they will be able to choose a discom. This will create competition in the market and benefit consumers directly,” Jaitley said.