States to play proactive role in solving power crisis

Power secretaries meet to suggest ways to solve power crisis and remove bottlenecks in setting up power projects, reports M Rajendran.

business Updated: Apr 23, 2007 19:09 IST

Chief secretaries and power secretaries from all states and union territories met Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Monday to discuss ways and means of tackling the growing power crisis.

They discussed means of reducing the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses in this sector, increasing energy efficiency and hastening capacity addition.

The meeting agreed to come out with a draft document on power sector reforms that would call for a more proactive role by state governments in removing bottlenecks to setting up power projects in their states.

The draft will be discussed by all the state power ministers before it is taken up at the next conference of state Chief Ministers chaired by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Inaugurating the conference Shinde said, "State Governments should take up as many new projects as possible and as early as possible for capacity addition." He assured them of all possible help from the central government."

He said that an ambitious plan to add more than 70,000 MW generation capacity in the next five years has been envisaged. Transmission network expansion and associated distribution augmentation to match this expansion are also planned.

On energy efficiency measures and demand side management Shinde said, that these have the potential to provide cost effective solution for over coming energy shortages.

"It was an effort to take stock of the situation," said a source who was present at the meeting. "It should help to draft a framework that will smoothen the process of communication and implementation of power projects between the centre and state governments."

PFC Results

Power Finance Corporation has registered a dismal 1.24 per cent rise in net profits at Rs 983 crore for the financial year 2006-07 as compared to Rs 971 crore during the previous year. The total income increased by Rs 25.51 per cent at Rs 3,926 crore during 2006-07 as against Rs 3,128 crore last year. The public sector company plans to raise about Rs 17,000 crore from domestic and overseas markets this fiscal. This will include about 9,000 crore in bonds, 3,500 crore in short-term borrowings. The company will raise $ 300 million from US private placements in May. It has raised about Rs 12,000 crore last financial year.

V K Garg PFC CMD refusing to comment on the Sasan power project for which it is the nodal agency said, "Everyone is to be blamed, if at all anyone is to be blamed."

First Published: Apr 23, 2007 18:58 IST