National Electricity Policy

TheGazette of India
PART I - Section 1
No ... New Delhi, Dated ….
Ministry of Power

New Delhi,
Dated the 12th, February, 2005


No. 23/40/2004-R&R (Vol.II)


1.1 In compliance with section 3 of the Electricity Act 2003 the Central Government hereby notifies the National Electricity Policy.

1.2 Electricity is an essential requirement for all facets of our life. It has been recognized as a basic human need. It is a critical infrastructure on which the socio-economic development of the country depends. Supply of electricity at reasonable rate to rural India is essential for its overall development. Equally important is availability of reliable and quality power at competitive rates to Indian industry to make it globally competitive and to enable it to exploit the tremendous potential of employment generation. Services sector has made significant contribution to the growth of our economy. Availability of quality supply of electricity is very crucial to sustained growth of this segment.

1.3 Recognizing that electricity is one of the key drivers for rapid economic growth and poverty alleviation, the nation has set itself the target of providing access to all households in next five years. As per Census 2001, about 44% of the households do not have access to electricity. Hence meeting the target of providing universal access is a daunting task requiring significant addition to generation capacity and expansion of the transmission and distribution network.

1.4 Indian Power sector is witnessing major changes. Growth of Power Sector in India since its Independence has been noteworthy. However, the demand for power has been outstripping the growth of availability. Substantial peak and energy shortages prevail in the country. This is due to inadequacies in generation, transmission & distribution as well as inefficient use of electricity. Very high level of technical and commercial losses and lack of commercial approach in management of utilities has led to unsustainable financial operations. Cross-subsidies have risen to unsustainable levels. Inadequacies in distribution networks has been one of the major reasons for poor quality of supply.

1.5 Electricity industry is capital-intensive having long gestation period. Resources of power generation are unevenly dispersed across the country. Electricity is a commodity that can not be stored in the grid where demand and supply have to be continuously balanced. The widely distributed and rapidly increasing demand requirements of the country need to be met in an optimum manner.

1.6 Electricity Act, 2003 provides an enabling framework for accelerated and more efficient development of the power sector. The Act seeks to encourage competition with appropriate regulatory intervention. Competition is expected to yield efficiency gains and in turn result in availability of quality supply of electricity to consumers at competitive rates.

1.7 Section 3 (1) of the Electricity Act 2003 requires the Central Government to formulate, inter alia, the National Electricity Policy in consultation with Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and State Governments. The provision is quoted below:

"The Central Government shall, from time to time, prepare the National Electricity Policy and tariff policy, in consultation with the State Governments and the Authority for development of the power system based on optimal utilization of resources such as coal, natural gas, nuclear substances or materials, hydro and renewable sources of energy".

Section 3 (3) of the Act enables the Central Government to review or revise the National Electricity Policy from time to time.

1.8 The National Electricity Policy aims at laying guidelines for accelerated development of the power sector, providing supply of electricity to all areas and protecting interests of consumers and other stakeholders keeping in view availability of energy resources, technology available to exploit these resources, economics of generation using different resources, and energy security issues.

1.9 The National Electricity Policy has been evolved in consultation with and taking into account views of the State Governments, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and other stakeholders.

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