Rs. 9,000 crore loan to Rajasthan discoms

Sunday, 02 September 2012 06:38 Lathish PV
RajasthanRajasthan will be the first state to get a loan from the Centre for financial restructuring of its discoms and bringing in power reforms.Union power minister Veerappa Moily, who was in the state for a day, announced that Rajasthan would be allotted Rs 4500 crore each by Power Finance Corporation Limited and Rural Electrification Corporation Limited. "Like Rajasthan, discoms in other states would also get similar help. The Centre would launch a national-level financial restructuring scheme. However, the states which opt for it will have to follow the set guidelines," said Moily, while addressing a press conference on Saturday.

The minister said talks are being held with several states and the scheme would soon be taken up for discussion by the Union cabinet.

One of the main conditions for availing the loan is to agree to an annual power tariff hike. As per the provision, the state has to start repaying three years after getting the loan, and the entire amount has to be returned in the next seven years.

"We want the state to take full responsibility of sustaining the discoms. The scheme is being considered as a sustained programme and not a temporary bail-out plan for the discoms,'' said Moily, and added that the losses incurred by discoms across the country has shot up to nearly Rs 1 lakh crore.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot said Rajasthan is the first state to take an initiative in this regard. He said the state had sent a proposal to the Centre for such a loan, following which a national-level financial restructuring scheme is being planned.

Moily said while the state's current demand for additional 500 MW of power is under consideration, he assured that the demand for additional supply for the rabi crop will be met. He also added that while four coal linkages were to be made available to the state for its power plant projects, allotment of a coal-block is also under consideration.

Senior officials from the Centre who arrived with Moily held meetings with state officials, discussing the situation and demands. "Recognizing the immense potential of the state in the sector, I agree that there is a need for more coal linkages, coal blocks and gas supply. The Centre will do all it can," Moily said, and appreciated the relatively lower Transmission and Distribution (T & D) losses in the state. He, though, emphasized on the need for power reforms.

The Union minister also said that all hamlets across the state will get electricity under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana.

On Rajasthan being one of the states that overdraws which was one of the reasons for the Northern Grid failure, Moily

he claimed that thought six states had been issued notices in the North, the report did not name any state. The state power department authorities specified that Rajasthan was under-drawing power than its quota on the day of grid failure.

Source - TOI