• FEBRUARY 15, 2000

Power deficit to hit Northern India in 2012

According to the 15th Electric Power Survey, northern India will face a power deficit of 8,000 MW by 2012. A large part of the deficit will be met from the power surplus eastern region. India's efforts to reform the power sector has left much to be desired. After many false starts the sector continues to be the subject of intense political debate despite the admission that a large number public sector utilities have failed to deliver. The results are evident in the frequent power cuts and load shedding.

Power deficits can pose serious impediments in an economy's quest to reach and sustain high levels of growth rate. Additionally, the quality of power that is supplied too has an adverse effect on the efficiency and productivity levels in an economy. These ineffect result in higher costs for consumers.

The latest survey once again highlights the need to speed up reforms (private sector participation, easing of regulation) in the power sector generation and transmission. Whether the government will treat this survey as a catalyst to speed up reforms as yet remains to be seen. Until then, the power cuts will continue.

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