UDAY provides viable future roadmap: Piyush Goyal
New Delhi [India], Feb 24 : Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said that the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) provides a viable roadmap for the future. Speaking at the Economic Times Global Business Summit 2018, Goyal said that the first phase of the scheme has been immensely successful. The former Union Power Minister said that earlier debt-ridden distribution companies were never able to provide 24x7 power supply. "With Ujwal, we took a very structured view about the distribution companies which were largely the source of maximum inefficiency. The past debt in the distribution companies was over USD 60 billion dollars. Nearly USD 70 billion for that matter," Goyal said. "And, accumulated losses were about USD 60 billion dollars. That was dragging down the performance of the distribution companies, dragging down the ability of distribution companies to procure power and therefore we were never able to make sure that everybody gets power 24x7," he added. The minister said the UDAY scheme took an approach of addressing the past and providing a viable roadmap of four to five years "In the UDAY scheme we took an approach of addressing the past, providing a viable roadmap of four to five years in which the present, the efficiency levels can be improved. And, also provided for a severe disincentive for any further losses or inefficiency that these distribution companies may continue to have," Goyal said. The minister also said the debt accumulated because of political reasons. "The first phase of UDAY has been immensely successful. States were made to take over 75 percent of the debt that the distribution companies had accumulated.This debt was largely accumulated because of political reasons," he added. Goyal also hinted at driverless trains, asserting that things are changing for the Indian railways. "Signalling has such a holistic dimension. It improves safety and line capacity tremendously. We could actually have driverless trains also. We have increased the capex of railways by three times in last four years. Results have started showing. Things are changing," Goyal concluded.
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