The Power Ministry has begun the process to set up a Rs 2,000 crore joint venture for providing a common backend infrastructure facility (CBIF) to power distribution companies (discoms) for faster roll-out of smart meters in the country.
The joint venture would have four promoters, NTPC Ltd, REC Ltd, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) and Power Finance Corporation (PFC).
These firms are under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power.
There would be equity investment of Rs 600 crore by the four promoters and the debt component would be of Rs 1,400 crore.
The CBIF will enable the fast-track implementation of smart meters across the country. It will simplify smart meter rollout for discoms by offering a plug and play architecture with standardized, pre-configured, pre-integrated, scalable back-end infra for rollout of smart meters.
Discoms would be required to pay only for use of the asset without incurring additional capex, along with features of built in upgrades, which would lead to cost reductions and savings to discoms.
Reference- PTI, PIB, Economic Times, Mercom India