₹1.29 lakh crore: Chandrababu Naidu pegs Andhra’s power sector legacy losses, blames YSRCP

Naidu said that when the YSRCP was in power, investors lost confidence and the brand image of Andhra took a severe beating.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jul 09, 2024 | 7:41 PM Updated Jul 09, 2024 | 7:49 PM

Chandrababu Naidu on power sector legacy losses of Andhra

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday, 9 July, put the legacy losses of the energy department at 1,29,503 crore, due to mismanagement by the previous YSRCP government.

Naidu, releasing a white paper on the energy department at the state secretariat at Velagapudi in Amaravati, told media persons that the task before him was to restore investors’ confidence that the “ghost that they were afraid of” was no longer there. “We will ensure that the ghost will lie buried forever,” the chief minister said in an oblique reference to former chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Naidu said that between 2019 and 2024, when the YSRCP was in power, investors lost confidence and the brand image of Andhra took a severe beating. He said he was now looking forward to a regime of no power cuts, quality, and reliable power supply to the consumers at an affordable cost.

Chandrababu Naidu further said that he was looking forward to promoting rooftop power generation, which would help the consumers cut down on power costs and exploring avenues to use green Hydrogen.

“Green Hydrogen is also useful in helping the state earn money by way of tax on producers. The state government is also keen on getting the arrears for the power it had supplied to Telangana in the initial days of the division of the state. The officials committee of Telangana and Andhra will resolve the issue,” Chandrababu Naidu said.

In reply to another question, he said that he would look at the issue of fitting smart meters to the agriculture pump sets, after considering the issue from all angles.

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Inept handling by YSRCP government

The chief minister said he was studying various aspects of the energy sector, which is in a rundown state now because of the inept handling by the previous government.

“The previous government had hiked power charges by 45 percent. It had collected  ₹16,699 additionally by hiking the tariff,  ₹5,886 crore by way of imposition of true-up charges and  ₹3,977 by way of fuel surcharge. Apart from this, the previous government had the energy department raise thousands of crores as loans which led to the debt burden on it increase by 79 percent during the last five years. In a nutshell, the state had incurred a loss of  ₹47,741 crore because of the incompetent administration,” he said adding that the people and the government together had suffered a loss of  ₹1,29,503 crore, largely legacy losses.

Chandrababu Naidu said that the accumulated losses of APDISCOMs and APPDCL went up from  ₹30,712 crore to  ₹40,330 crore, an increase of  ₹9,618 crore. The additional burden due to short term power purchases was  ₹12,250 crore. The delay in commissioning of Polavaram Hydro Electric Project is expected to result in an additional burden of  ₹4,737 crore and the delay in commissioning of Thermal Power Plants resulted in an additional burden of  ₹12,818 crore.

The chief minister said that another disturbing revelation was that the outstanding receivables increased from  ₹12,945 crore to  ₹52,091 crore, resulting in a net increase of  ₹39,146 crore, which is 302 percent.

“We have introduced Power Sector Reforms 1.0, Power Sector Reforms 2.0 in the past and now we need Power Sector Reforms 3.0 to transform the sector for empowering society. That is why I am seeking inputs and support from all stakeholders to strengthen my hands and convert Andhra Pradesh into an Energy Hub of the future,” Naidu said.

He said that during the last five years, the sector had been destroyed totally and now he had to put it back on rails. “No matter how hard it is, I will do it as it is my responsibility,” Naidu said.

Recalling 2004 elections in the undivided Andhra Pradesh, he said that he had paid the price of losing power for ushering in reforms in the power sector. “The reforms yielded results during the tenure of my successor late YS Rajasekhar Reddy,” he said.

Referring to his tenure as the chief minister of truncated state of Andhra Pradesh between 2014-19, he said he had paid special attention to solar and wind energy, besides ensuring quality power supply at affordable cost. “By 2018, Andhra became a power surplus state. We had an installed capacity of 14,929 mw,” he said.

(Edited by Neena)

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