Power reforms scheme running slow: CAG

Power ministry had budgeted Rs 12,415.04 crore during 2008-09 to 2014-15 for R–APDRP scheme which was only 43.68 percent of the envisaged amount

GN Bureau | December 22, 2016


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The CAG has found shortcomings in the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP), which was to focus on reduction of losses, establishment of reliable and automated system for collection of accurate base line data and the adoption of Information Technology.

“The gross budgetary support of Rs 28,424 crore was envisaged for the scheme in the XI and XII plan periods (2008–17). Against this, ministry of Power had actually budgeted Rs 12,415.04 crore during 2008-09 to 2014-15 which was only 43.68 percent of the envisaged amount.

“R–APDRP scheme has been subsumed in Integrated Power Development Scheme since December 2014 and no separate budget for R–APDRP has been allocated after 2014–15. The actual releases during 2008–15 on R–APDRP scheme were only Rs 8,175.45 crore implying slow pace of scheme implementation,” said a CAG report.

The report said that counterpart funding was not tied up by many state utilities implementing the scheme within the prescribed period. Audit noticed that Power Finance Corporation did not maintain records of counterpart funding raised by the utilities from financial institutions. Also, instances of diversion of R-APDRP funds and overlapping of schemes were noticed in some states.

R-APDRP was launched in December 2008 as a continuation of the Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP) in the XI Plan period. The programme envisaged sustainable reduction of Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses, establishment of reliable and automated system for collection of accurate base line data and the adoption of Information Technology in the area of energy accounting as necessary preconditions for sanctioning distribution strengthening projects.

The scheme also aimed to map all power distribution assets, index and meter all consumers to ensure that electricity supplied can be traced to the ultimate consumer thereby resulting in better billing efficiency.

Regarding programme implementation, CAG noticed that there were delays ranging up to 13 months in finalization of preparatory activities for implementation of the programme.

“Detailed Project Reports were not prepared in line with the Model Detailed Project Report, resulting in inclusion of inadmissible items of work and exclusion of required items of work in the scope of the project. Assumptions made during project formulation were not independently verified during appraisal. Instances of revision in cost of the projects without approval of the Steering Committee were noticed. In some cases, the Detailed Project Reports were appraised and approved by the Steering Committee without recommendation of State Distribution Reforms Committees in contravention of the prescribed procedure.”

It added that additional expenditure due to re-tendering and award of works to contractors at different rates for similar items of work being executed in a state were observed.

“Deficiencies in quality controls like procurement of material in deviation of specifications, failure of the items/systems leading to delay in completion of the projects and not obtaining suitable guarantees were noticed.  The efforts made to impart training to the staff of the utilities were inadequate and the purpose of training of staff was not achieved.”

Read the complete report here

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