At Tata Power’s 100th AGM, shareholders rue high debt

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on June 18, 2019

N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Power   -  THE HINDU

Also express concern over huge number of loss-making units

Tata Power shareholders on Tuesday raised concerns over the company’s debt and its large number of subsidiaries, which are weighing on the bottom-line.

“We are concerned about the debt and the company’s presence in unrelated areas such as ceramics,” said a shareholder at the company’s 100th Annual General Meeting.

Another investor raised questions on the number of subsidiaries of Tata Power — which come to around 90 — and how many of these are loss-making ones.

Assuaging the concerns, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Power, said the company is looking into the issues and taking measures to resolve them.

Tata Power’s 4,000-MW Mundra project is reporting huge losses. In February 2006, Tata Power had won the bid, quoting a price of ₹2.26 per unit of electricity generated, which is unviable now. Subsequently, Tata asked for a tariff hike from the electricity boards of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana, its customers. They refused to raise prices.

“We are in touch with all the five State governments and now, with the elections over, will try to get a closure on this,” said Chandrasekaran.

Some shareholders were disappointed that Tata Power has not declared a bonus or increased the dividend over the past few years. The last issue of bonus shares was made more than 40 years back, said one. “In our 100th year, there should have been a bonus,” he said. For FY19, Tata Power gave a dividend of ₹1.30 per share.

Chandrasekaran also said that while Tata Power’s renewables business is seeing growth, the returns won’t be immediate. “You are not going to see immediate size and scale. I am not setting the expectations high,” he told the shareholders.

Published on June 18, 2019

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