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T&D losses high compared to peer nations

India's T&D losses have been over 20% of generation, which is more than twice the world average

T&D losses high compared to peer nations
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T&D losses high compared to peer nations 

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New Delhi: India's transmission and distribution (T&D) losses in the power sector are "substantial" and are very high compared to peer nations, flagged the Economic Survey for 2020-21. The T&D losses represent electricity that is generated but does not reach intended customers. India's T&D losses have been over 20 per cent of generation, which is more than twice the world average. The ideal level of T&D losses ranges between six to eight per cent.

According to the Central Electricity Authority's latest report of October 2020 the T&D losses had declined to 20.66 per cent in 2018-19, from 21.04 per cent in 2017-18, and 21.42 per cent in 2016-17.

"T&D losses have been declining since 2001-02 but are still substantial. As compared to the T&D losses of the peer countries, India's T&D losses are very high," the survey stated. The observation assumes significance in view of the stressed power sector because of cash-strapped discoms, which are finding it difficult to make timely payment for electricity supply by generation firms (gencos).

As per the Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators portal, the discoms' total outstanding to gencos stood at over Rs 1.39 lakh crore as of November 2020, which includes Rs 1.26 lakh crore of overdue amount. The outstanding dues become overdue when discoms do not pay gencos for supply of power after 45 days of generation of the bills.

The huge overdue amount shows that there is a liquidity crunch with the discoms. In order to deal with the issue, the centre had announced a liquidity infusion package for discom with an outlay of Rs 90,000 crore which was later expanded to Rs 1.2 lakh crore.

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