Bill to reform power sector in winter session

Times of India, August 07, 2014

The government will bring a Bill, amending the Central Electricity Act, in winter session of Parliament to improve the tariff policy and regulations in the power sector. The power ministry is working out different tariff structure for different times of the day for easy availability of power for maximum hours in electricity deficit areas. It will soon consult states over the issue as the tariff matter comes under the states’ domain.

Besides, the government has decided to promote domestic power companies to help increase solar power generation in the country. Announcing these decisions in Rajya Sabha, power minister Piyush Goyal said the government will allow only 100% indigenous domestic companies to participate in the tendering process for 1000 MW solar power plants for defence sector. The measure would be implemented from this year itself, he added.

Replying to a discussion on functioning of his ministry, Goyal said he will seek the support of House in getting amendments to the Electricity Act of 2003 passed as it needs a relook and it should be more contemporary. “We need to have transformational changes. Our government is committed to transformational changes and not incremental changes.”

Announcing other measures to enhance power production in the country, Goyal said his ministry was working out with states to sort out pending issues due to which power projects have been held up.

Giving the break-up, he said power plants with installed capacity of 69,842 MW were held up for various reasons of which 45,634 MW were due to non-availability of coal.

Goyal, who also holds the coal portfolio, said while the power plant capacity has increased by 60% in the last few years, coal production has gone up by 7-8%.

He said the government has now decided that all power plants over 25 years’ old will get automatic exemption from clearances and automatic coal linkage for setting up plants with higher capacity.

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