J&K’s power sector incurs over Rs 4000 cr losses annually

Srinagar, July 11: The power sector continues to be a significant drain on the Union Territory’s exchequer, with the power department reporting annual losses of more than Rs 4000 crore due to a revenue deficit—the difference between the cost of purchasing power and the income received from power prices.

Jammu and Kashmir spend Rs 7500 crore on electricity imports yearly, while the money it realises from power bills created in customers’ names is just Rs 3000 crore.

According to a top official in the power department, the J&K government has suffered significant losses due to users who do not pay their electricity bills. “To give energy to the people of J&K, we have borrowed Rs 31,000 crore from the Government of India during the previous four years. Such a system cannot last for very long.”

The J&K government uses funds from its coffers to cover the Rs 4000 Cr income shortfall.

According to a senior Power Development Department (PDD) official, the PDD’s income shortfall is concerning since it directly relates to losses.

“We spend more than Rs 7,500 Cr on power each year, while our revenue is barely Rs 3000 Cr. Even though many initiatives have been done to close the gap between power purchases and revenue collection, the public still needs to support it. They should stop stealing, he urged, noting that smart meters were being installed by the government in the UT.

Over the past 10 years (from 2012–13 to 202–21), power purchase costs from external power Gencos have totaled Rs 55, 254 crores.

14362 million electrical units cost the J&K government Rs 7047 crore in 2020–21, whereas 16207 million units cost Rs 8197 crore in 2021–22, according to statistics.

For Rs 6987 crore, 13345 million units were bought in 2019–20. Similar to this, the total cost of electricity purchases in each of the previous years was as follows: Rs 6561 crore in 2018–19; Rs 4844 crore in 2017–18; Rs 4752 crore in 2016–17; Rs 4803 crore in 2015–16; Rs 4719 crore in 2014–15; Rs 3959 crore in 2013–14; and Rs 3382 crore in 2012–13.

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