The Centre’s push for smart meters may be an important ingredient for transitioning to a 21st century electricity-system. However, let us not pretend it is the silver bullet to solve the long-standing problems of discom finance and losses.
The immediate priority is to better target central aid for the poor. We identify three ideas that build and improve existing programmes, and should be prioritised by the Ministry of Finance in making budgetary allocations. All are important for ensuring the welfare of the poor.