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Against the Current (Organizational Restructuring of State Electricity Boards)

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On paper, State Electricity Boards in India, are supposed to provide electricity to a billion people across the country. In reality, however, what they provide to the consumers are poor quality power and endless power cuts. Besides, they are forever incurring losses and are thus a burden on State exchequers. We are told that this is only due to their “politicization' and 'inefficiency': But is that the whole truth?


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Item Code: AZA198
Author: Joel Ruet
Publisher: Manohar Publishers and Distributors
Language: English
Edition: 2003
ISBN: 9788173044786
Pages: 228
Cover: HARDCOVER
Other Details 9 X 5.8 inches
Weight 410 gm
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Book Description
About the Book


On paper, State Electricity Boards in India, are supposed to provide electricity to a billion people across the country. In reality, however, what they provide to the consumers are poor quality power and endless power cuts. Besides, they are forever incurring losses and are thus a burden on State exchequers. We are told that this is only due to their “politicization' and 'inefficiency': But is that the whole truth?


This book brings together ten specialists, with different ideological backgrounds, who examine the issue of privatization of SEBs and argue that this is not the only solution to the problem. The contributors have a deep familiarity of the SEBs' workings at all levels-from the meter reader to the higher echelons of the bureaucracy. And it is this intimate knowledge which the contributors have utilized to suggest key aspects of reforms of SEBs. • The book explains in detail how ‘depoliticization' is not an issue in itself. On the contrary the book shows how SEBS can first be managed and then reformed. It goes on to examine the issue from different perspectives and then reveals what people within the system know about 'inefficiency, and what they don't; what they can decide, and what they can't; what they actually do, and what they don't. In short, it proposes a journey through the organizations to which hundreds of million Indians stand connected, day and night, through a maze of electric networks. The book, thus not only raises issues but primarily suggests possible solutions.


About the Author


Joël Ruet holds a Ph.D. in Economics (Paris) and is an Engineer from the Ecole des Mines, Paris. He has been working for EDF, the French public power company for several years. Since 2000 he has been the Head of the Economics Department, Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi. His specialization is in the areas of reform of electricity sector in various countries, and socio-economic study of the public sector in India.


Preface


In order to improve the health of State Electricity Boards (SEBs), measures like corporatization, unbundling, and setting up of regulatory commissions have been undertaken by the Government of India. However, these options have proved insufficient in the states which have experienced them. Therefore, privatization has been encouraged but that too has achieved limited success, since:


– both the above reforms and the bidding phase in the privatization process take time, and – the investors do not want to commit financial resources due to lack of information and guarantees on the means and latitude they will have to internally restructure.


Scholars involved in reforms, from the IIMs Ahmedabad and Bangalore, IIT Kanpur, ASCI, Hyderabad, IPE Hyderabad, and CSH, New Delhi, have evaluated the current initiatives and outlined some action plans to be further studied or implemented, in order to overcome the present impasse. These are presented and discussed in this book; issues in the internal organization of SEBs, as well as in their relationships with external bodies have both been addressed.


**Contents and Sample Pages**











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