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India plans utility reforms, to spend about $35 billion

In New Delhi, Indian politicians are planning a fresh round of investments meant to assist India’s struggling power utilities.

Details are still being worked out, officials told Bloomberg, but this could mean spending about $35 billion over a half-decade.

The funding will go to upgrade technology and build new infrastructure, as well as installing 250 million smart meters. More money could be granted to state-level governments to help meet the federal government’s requirements, according to Bloomberg.

One of India’s greatest power supply bottlenecks is distribution, where revenues are lost and power is often stolen. Ineffective billing and collection is another issue plaguing power distributors. New Delhi believes propping up these utilities can make electricity delivery more reliable and utilities more profitable.

One reform plan calls for separate power grids for residential areas and farmers and insulating overhead distribution lines to foil power thieves.