Coal scams during the tenure of the "previous government" have adversely impacted the availability of coal forcing the power generation projects with collective capacity of 65,000 MW being shut in the country, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said here today.
"The availability of coal in the country is adversely affected due to coal scams that have taken place during the tenure of the previous government. Today the situation is such that 65,000 MW of power generation projects are completely shut in India," Goyal said while addressing BJP workers at the party office here.
The minister said his ministry was working out ways to restart these projects so that issues related to availability of power and its transmission are resolved.
"However, even though these plants are shut, their annual maintenance cost is rising and the ultimate burden is finally put on people," Goyal said.
On the issue of power tariff, Goyal, who is the minister of state with independent charge for power, coal and new & renewable energy, said it is the power regulator that decides on tariffs and the government has "no say" in this regard.
"Whether the prices of electricity are to be increased or decreased, the decision lies with the power regulator. We cannot take any decision in this regard. The government can only work towards increasing the power supply to states and we need every state to assist us in stopping the theft of electricity," he said.
The minister added the biggest achievement of the Narendra Modi government in the last one month after assuming the office is that it has managed to establish a "direct contact" with different ministries to promote governance, in sharp contrast to the previous government.
"We have formed an environment where our ministers directly talk to each other on phone about various issues. We can now work seamlessly on improving a lot of inefficiencies present in the government," Goyal said.
He said the previous government had mainly relied on writing letters to each other on issues of governance, "which took years to process and the BJP government has now broken that trend."
Goyal said BJP aims to provide 24x7 electricity to every household in the country.
"The government will work towards making the country free of diesel generators and inverters in the next five years," he said.
Goyal said if Maharashtra wants to get its power issues resolved, "then we have to win the upcoming assembly elections so that the Centre and the state can work in tandem for the welfare of people".