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Govt urges states to raise power purchase; plans to revive stalled projects

Shreya Jai/New Delhi 15 Sep 18 | 05:30 AM

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Identifying that power demand and assured payment to power generating firms are major reasons for debt load, the Centre will pursue states for improving power procurement.

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In the second meeting of the High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC), the power ministry said it was in discussions with states for improving the power demand scenario. The HLEC has been formed under the Cabinet Secretary to formalise resolution plans for the power sector.

The committee has members from the ministries of coal, power, finance and railways, and is to submit its report by September 29.

The first meeting of the HLEC was held on August 31. The RBI, which gave the meeting a miss the first time, was not present in the second one too. The RBI was asked to be included in the meeting by an order of the Allahabad High Court.

Officials said the RBI has cited “conflict of interest" for not attending the meet.

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Officials said they are looking at some short-term measures for resolving immediate issues in the sector, such as coal supply and payment by states.

“The Centre will continue deliberations with states to ensure timely payment to generation firms. We are in discussions with states for assured power demand. We are also planning several measures to revive stalled projects in the short term," said an official.

The official added that issues related to coal supply are being taken up and the situation has improved significantly.

There are 34 power projects with a cumulative capacity of 40 Gw that are identified as “stressed" by the Ministry of Finance.

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According to the February 12 circular of the RBI, the 180-day deadline for stress resolution for these assets got over on Tuesday.

Thereafter, a Supreme Court directive on the same day halted any insolvency proceedings against the stressed power assets, till November 14.

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