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Hinduja to PM: plug power gaps

Gopichand P Hinduja, has told the PM that policy loopholes and lack of commitment from state governments is casting an adverse impact on the investments inflows by existing and potential investors, keen to invest in India’s power sector. Anupama Airy reports. Causing adverse impact

business Updated: Jul 13, 2011 23:34 IST
Anupama Airy

Noted industrialist and non-resident Indian, Gopichand P Hinduja, has told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that policy loopholes and lack of commitment from state governments is casting an adverse impact on the investments inflows by existing and potential investors, keen to invest in India’s power sector.

In a recent letter to the PM, Hinduja said his own company’s plans to develop 10,000 mw of power projects have been “somewhat dampened by the various obstacles, which a developer has to go through”.

The Hinduja Group is presently setting up a 1,040 MW coal-based power plant at Vizag, which is in an advanced stage of construction after achieving a financial closure last year. A capacity addition of 10,000 mw translates into an investment inflow of R40,000 crore.

“I am taking the liberty of bringing to your notice some of the problems being experienced, which will cause avoidable delays in timely completion of the projects… listing issues that are reducing the confidence of both the current investors and other potential investors in power sector,” Hinduja told the PM in his letter.

“Our interest of developing a total of 10,000 MW power projects over the next 10 years has been somewhat dampened by the various obstacles, which a developer/investor has to go through,” he said.

The obstacles listed by Hinduja include shortfall in committed coal supplies to power projects at competitive prices, delays in timely approvals by the ministry of environment and forests and also the laid-back approach of the state governments.

Stating that the government of India is not taking urgent steps to ensure 100% coal allocation to those power projects that have achieved the prescribed milestones, Hinduja said this “will send a wrong signal to investors/funding agencies in power sector and would be detrimental for the country at large.”

He further said, “the concerned chief ministers in states should be committed (and be so advised) to provide full support to serious developers in all matters of environmental clearance and other issues relating to its own departments,” he said.

“Lack of proper co-operation and co-ordination between the Centre and the State on matters such as land, water, power off-take and development of infrastructure facilities around the project site was casting an impact of the projects.”

On delays by the environment ministry, he said, “the environment ministry should be advised that once environment clearance has been given for a project and based on which financial closure has been achieved, the matter should not be reopened (as has happened recently for some projects).”

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