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Government rubbishes reports of privatising KSEB

Government rubbishes reports of privatising KSEB

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led UDF government Tuesday refuted reports that the Central government had suggested privatisation of the power distribution system under the Financial Power Restructuring Package.

Replying to an adjournment notice by AK Balan (CPI-M) in the Assembly on the reported move to privatise Kerala State Electricity Board, Power Minister Aryadan Muhammed said Kerala wanted to retain the Board in the public sector itself.

Neither the public private participation route nor the franchise model for power distribution network was acceptable to the state, Muhammed said.

Instead of privatising the Board, government plans to improve the efficiency and quality of its functioning, he said.

Transmission loss, which stood as high as 31 per cent in 2001, has come down to 17 per cent. Government was confident that it would be able to bring it down further, he said.

However, he said the Board's financial situation was not so good. It was taking loans even to purchase power, he said, adding, "the board incurs a loss of Rs 200 crore a month."

So, the government could not reject the financial assistance of the Centre but would not agree to the proposal for privatisation of the Board, he said.

Kerala government would have no hesitation in informing the Centre that it did not want the package if it insisted on privatisation of the Board, he added.

Balan, former Power Minister, said attempt was already on to privatise KSEB as part of the 'neo-liberal' economic policy followed by the Centre.

After the minister's reply, Speaker G Karthikeyan disallowed the adjournment notice.

Opposition leader and CPI-M veteran VS Achuthanandan welcomed the UDF government's stand on the matter and said LDF would give full support to the government to fight the 'neo liberal' policies of the Centre.


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