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‘India needs to set up manufacturing base for smart meters’

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy has said that India needs to set up a manufacturing base for smart electricity metres to ensure adequate supply
New Delhi: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy has said that India needs to set up a manufacturing base for smart electricity meters to ensure adequate supply and should also ensure competition in the market for the same. In its latest report, the panel said, “There is a need to augment the manufacturing base of the smart meters to ensure the supply of an adequate number of meters to be installed all over the country. It should be ensured that there are multiple players in the field to rule out monopoly.”

Panel urges govt to install only smart meters under Saubhagya

While highlighting the advantages of these meters over conventional meters, the panel recommended that henceforth, only smart meters be installed by the Ministry of Power under the Saubhagya scheme to avoid duplicity of work. The committee also highlighted the advantages of these meters over conventional ones. Though the cost of a smart meter is nearly three times more this extra cost could be recovered in a six-and-a-half-year time frame, it said. State-owned EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited) has announced the completion of the installation of 10 lakh new meters across India under the Centre’s Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP). The PSU has set a target to install 25 crore smart meters over the next few years.

The backdrop

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in her Budget speech in February that Rs 22,000 crore has been allocated for the power and renewable energy sector and had urged the state governments to install these meters in the next three years. The move is aimed at giving consumers the right to choose suppliers and the rates. She had said that the meters will also improve the financial health of discoms.