New Delhi: Chhattisgarh has excess electricity to sell, but many power distribution firms are unable to purchase due to their poor financial conditions, a top state official said on Saturday.

"We have lot of power to sell but the problem is that the companies do not have the money to buy it," Chhattisgarh Chief Secretary P J Oommen told reporters here.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 12th Annual Chief Secretaries Summit organised by PHDCCI, he said the issue of power distribution companies (discoms) not having enough
money to purchase electricity should be seriously looked into.

"Power companies are facing a crisis today and the central and state governments need to consider this issue as it is a serious matter," Oommen pointed out. Most of the discoms are deep in the red, mainly on account of lower tariff and high transmission losses.

"With power tariffs being low, the companies are not able to go for future purchases. The power regulators and some state governments have been trying to keep the tariffs low," he said.

Power being an important sector for the economy, Oomen stressed that tariffs on power should be considered in the same way as one considers petrol and diesel prices. On the issue of Naxalism affecting the investment climate in the state, Oommen said that the government has assigned the issue a top priority.

"Indeed the state is affected by Left-wing extremism, but the government has made it a top priority," he noted.

The government has been facing problem in reaching out to the remote areas as the state government personnel are afraid in going to these areas due to threat from extremist elements, he pointed out adding that this is "now changing".

"Slowly, but steadily our officers are reaching out to the villages and are convincing the people to come forward and avail the government schemes to uplift their conditions," Oommen noted.

Chhattisgarh government is also opening educational institutions to help village and tribal children to come forward to study and the government has recently opened a medical college in Jagdalpur, one of the Naxal affected areas, Oommen added.

Besides this, he said that the state has a lot of opportunities in the power and mining sectors and is also looking for private investments in these areas.

(Agencies)