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Power sector a laggard in the growing economy

business Updated: Feb 28, 2008 21:35 IST
Samiran Saha

Growth in electricity generation has decelerated to 6.6 per cent from 7.5 per cent in the corresponding period in 2006-07, the Economic Survey tabled in the Parliament by finance minister P. Chidambaram said on Thursday.

The government is expecting 9.5 per cent growth per annum in the power sector in the 11th Five Year Plan.

If the overall performance of infrastructure sector was subdued during April-December 2007-08, performance of its key sub sector –power-- was dismal compared to corresponding period last year

Perhaps it is for the first time the government has admitted its failure to meet targets set for the power sector in the Economic Survey tabled today.

“Electricity generation by power utilities during 2007-08 was targeted to go up by 7.2 per cent to 710 billion kilo Watt hour. The growth of power generation in April- December 2007 was lower than the targeted growth rate,” the Economic Survey maintained. By what percent the target was missed was not mentioned in the survey.

According to the survey the government plans to raise per capita availability of power to 1000 units per annum from 631 units. “To fulfill the objectives of the National Electricity Policy, a capacity addition of 78,577 mega watt has been proposed for the 11th Five year Plan,” the survey added.

“For 2007-08 government has fixed a target of 12,039 MW of which 7,263 has been commissioned up to January 2007. Total capacity addition would be 10,821 MW, with thermal, hydro and nuclear accounting for 8,051 MW, 2,587 MW and 220 MW respectively.