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Balancing State, Utility and Social Needs in Agricultural Electricity Supply: The case for a holistic approach to reform

This paper, prepared by CUTS Institute for Regulation and Competition, examines the challenges in reforming subsidized electricity for India's agricultural sector.

Since the late 1960s, political parties have endorsed agricultural electricity supply at highly subsidized rates, sometimes free and mostly unmeasured. These subsidies have increasingly come under scrutiny for their economic inefficiencies and environmental impacts. The authors maintain that reforms must pay careful attention to social, political, economic and environmental aspects. Drawing on empirical evidence, this paper outlines a broad approach to the reform of agricultural electricity subsidies.