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Free Electricity For Farmers Is Our Top Goal: N. Srikant, Energy Secretary

Energy Secretary N. Srikant has stated that his department's primary goals include delivering free electricity to farmers for nine hours during the day and lowering the rising cost of power purchases.

Chintu Das
Andhra Pradesh Energy Secretary N. Srikant
Andhra Pradesh Energy Secretary N. Srikant

Andhra Pradesh Energy Secretary N. Srikant has stated that his department's primary goals include delivering free electricity to farmers for nine hours during the day and lowering the rising cost of power purchases. 

Unfurling the national flag on the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day at Vidyut Soudha on Wednesday,  Srikant stated that out of the allowed overall power purchase cost of Rs 31,346 crore last year, the DISCOMs saved Rs 4,925 crore by substituting expensive thermal power with power purchased from the markets at lower rates. 

The AP Electricity Regulatory Commission deducted Rs 3,375 crore from the retail supply rate order for FY 2021-22 and allowed a 'true down' to that amount. 

"There is still a true-down amount of Rs 1,552 crore to be reckoned. "This demonstrates the government's commitment to easing consumer burdens," he said. He went on to say that the state's 6,663 feeders provided free power to around 18.50 lakh agricultural connections. The government was funding the scheme with a subsidy of Rs 7,715 crore every year. 

Solar Power 

He further stated that starting in 2024, a total of 7,000 MW of solar power will be acquired from the Solar Energy Corporation of India in separate lots to serve the farm sector. 

The minister further told that transmission losses, which were 2.6 percent in 2020-21, have been reduced to 2.4 percent so far in 2021-22, while distribution losses have decreased from 7.5 percent in 2020-21 to 5 percent in 2021-22. 

Joint MDs I. Prudhvi Tej and B. Malla Reddy of AP-Transco, Directors K. Praveen Kumar and K. Muthupandian of AP-Transco, and Genco Directors G. Chandra Sekhar Raju, M.V.V. Satyanarayana, and Syed Rafi of Genco also attended. 

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