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India Looks At Curbing Power Theft In The Country – Fines For Distributors

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Fine for Indian Electricity Distributors

In the latest from the Indian power sector, the Power Ministry has announced to fine electricity distributors for avoidable power cuts from April 2019. It has also made it compulsory for the companies to install prepaid or smart meters to prevent any theft of electricity. The fines would be imposed in the financial year starting April 2019. The distributors would be exempted if the shutdown was caused by factors like bad weather conditions or due to any other reason/ disaster that was beyond a company’s control.

On the other hand, the distributors are crying horse saying that they run short of cash to pay generating companies. The root cause of this problem is power theft prevalent in areas due to unauthorized grid links. Also, an efficient bill collection could also reduce this problem. Few Indian states suffer from collecting payments for more than half of the power they supply.  Power theft is one of the looming issues in the Indian power sector.


India has already achieved its ‘One Nation’-‘One Grid’-‘One Frequency’ objective in 2014 and the Indian power system is one of the largest operating synchronous grids in the world today.

The above mentioned initiative will guarantee a more consistent power supply in India. The country has more than20% of its population still living in darkness. The problem is starker in rural areas where there is no grid connectivity. Many of these areas are now powered by micro-grids. The government will also be distributing solar panels with battery packs to households which are not grid connected. India targets to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022 and is also aiming at renewable power sources to constitute 40% of installed capacity by 2030. A majority (almost 60%) of the country’s power is still generated from coal, diesel, and gas. Renewables like wind, solar, biofuels and hydropower account for nearly 18% of the current installed capacity.

Also, read Penalty for Indian Solar Power Developers If Caught Cheating

India is a growing nation with increasing population and demand for power. India has deployed $11 billion rural electrification program, called Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, which targets delivering power to 18,452 villages by 2018.

The government has also vowed to provide the whole population with power by the end of 2018 and has launched a $2 billion project in September in this regard.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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