Power sector to save Rs 2,500 cr annually due to corporate tax cut: ICRA

PTI New Delhi | Updated on September 30, 2019 Published on September 30, 2019

The corporate tax cut is a positive development for power sector as it will result in an estimated annual savings of Rs 2,500 crore for the power distribution segment, rating agency ICRA said on Monday.

The government on September 20 slashed the income tax rate for companies by almost 10 percentage points to 25.17 per cent and offered a lower rate to 17.01 per cent for new manufacturing firms to boost economic growth rate from a six-year low by incentivising investments to help create jobs. “The recent announcement by the a positive development for the power sector, as it would allow power generators with cost plus power purchase agreements (PPAs) to pass on the lower tax benefit to power distribution utilities (discoms),” ICRA said in a statement.

As per ICRA’s estimates, the extent of benefit that would accrue to discoms from power generation and transmission segments (mainly from central and state utilities), would be about Rs 25 billion (Rs 2500 crore) annually. “The benefit so accrued to discoms in turn would enable them to lower their cost of supply and hence, reduce the gap between average tariff and cost of power supply by about 3 paise per unit sold at all India level.

“However, the extent of reduction in gap for discoms would vary across states depending on the mix of cost plus and bid-based PPAs and share of supply from central sector companies,” said Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President & Group Head - Corporate ratings, ICRA. Within the overall annual energy generation of 1250 billion units (1 unit =1 kwh) in FY’2019, about 67 per cent is cost-plus tariff based predominantly from central and state sector utilities.

Central government entities like NTPC, NLC India, Damodar Valley Corporation, Power Grid Corporation of India and NHPC have cost plus tariff structures, leading to pass through of lower tax incidence to discoms, it said. Also, state-owned power generating companies and power transmission companies, would be benefited from the lower tax incidence, which would be passed on to discoms under the regulated cost-plus tariff structure, it added.

The effective tax rate for most of these central sector utilities over the past two years was in the range of 21-23 per cent, partly due to availability of tax holiday benefit (where MAT is applicable) for a large portion of their projects.

Published on September 30, 2019
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