Ministers’ panel to look into power sector stress issues

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on December 12, 2018 Published on December 12, 2018

Union Minister Arun Jaitley   -  THE HINDU

The Centre has formed an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) to examine the recommendations of the High-Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) tasked with looking into issues that have contributed to the stress in the power sector.

“The EGoM is chaired by Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. It will make recommendations on the suggestions that have been made in the report of the HLEC. These comments will be forwarded for consideration by the Union Cabinet,” a Government official aware of the decision told BusinessLine.

It may be recalled that the Cabinet Secretary-headed High-Level Empowered Committee was to look into the various issues that have contributed to the stress in the power sector, to resolve them and to maximise the efficiency of investments. This includes changes required to be made in the fuel allocation policy, regulatory framework, mechanisms to facilitate sale of power and ensure timely payments.

“Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and Renewable Energy, RK Singh, will be the member convenor of this EGoM, which will be serviced by the Ministry of Power. The other members of the committee are Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal, and Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan.”

The HLEC has recommended that NTPC can act as an aggregator of power from stressed power plants and offer that power to the Discoms against PPAs of NTPC till the time as NTPC’s own plants are commissioned.

The committee has also recommended that a nodal agency may be designated which may invite bids for procurement of bulk power for medium term for 3-5 years in appropriate tranches, against pre-declared linkage by Coal India.

The Ministry of Coal may also earmark at least 60 per cent of the e-auction coal for the power sector. This should be in addition to the regular coal requirement of the power sector, the committee had recommended.

According to the HLEC, the disbursal of a Late Payment Surcharge should also be made mandatory in the event of delay in payment by the Discom.

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Published on December 12, 2018
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