24×7 power, new power sector fund to be unveiled in Central budget!

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The NDA lead Union Government is reportedly working on separating agriculture and domestic electricity supply feeders so as to ensure eight hours of quality power to agri sector and 24×7 power to household use in the upcoming budget.

Bill named “Power to All 24×7” is being drafted to curtail the distribution losses, ensure fool proof billing based on Gujarat’s “Jyotigram Yojana”. Billing and distribution losses are above 27% of the total electricity produced, as per estimates. Country’s over all peak deficit in May clocked at 4.1%. Sector minister Piyush Goyal recently visited Gujarat to study the scheme running there and expressed his viewpoint through a tweet later: “We also understood the Jyotigram Yojana in great detail & will leave no stone unturned for our dream of 24×7 power, pan-India in every home!”

The government is also working on creating a pan organization exclusive power sector fund to give boost to energy production. About 28,000 Mega Watt of thermal power production is stalled due to lack of funds, as per an estimate. A sum of around 50,000 crores is being targeted for the fund, to be allocated exclusively for a period of 10 years to 20 years. Ministries of power, coal and renewable energy should bring together financial organizations like India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd – IIFCL, Power Finance Corporation – PFC, Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd. – REC, IREDA, LIC; plus public and private sector banks to pool the fund.

Heads of 24 banks and financial institutions attended a recent meeting in this regard. Heads of SBI, ICICI, representatives of RBI etc. participated in the meeting. “Investments to the tune of Rs.5.7 lakh crore are required in the sector by FY 2018, translating into a debt requirement of Rs.4 lakh crore and equity requirement of Rs.1.7 lakh crore. In view of this, I recommend that the government considers a dedicated power sector equity fund POWER-ing India Fund (PIF) to bridge the equity gap,” Rana Kapoor, managing director and chief executive officer, Yes Bank, said in a statement.

Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal too participated in the meeting. If the ambitious plans fructify, India could see a galloping power production and over all manufacturing industry.

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