Central Government will amend the Electricity Act 2003 in the next session of Parliament to help bring improvements in tariff policy and regulations in the power sector. Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal told Rajya Sabha that government has decided to allow only 100 per cent indigenous domestic companies to participate in the tendering process for 1000 MW solar power plants for defence sector.
The step, he said, is aimed at promoting domestic solar power companies to help increase solar power production in the country. He said the measure would be implemented from this year itself and was a WTO compliant scheme.
Replying to a discussion on functioning of Power Ministry, he said he will seek the support of the House in getting the 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," Goyal said.
Announcing a slew of measures to enhance power production in the country, he said his Ministry is working out with states to sort out pending issues due to which power projects have been held up.
He said power plants with capacity of 69,842 MW were held up for various reasons of which 45,634 MW were due to non-availability of coal.
He announced that four pilot projects have been initiated by his government for storage of solar power.
Goyal lamented that even after many years of Independence, there are at least 40 crore Indians and over 8 crore households in the country without power.
Of the over six lakh villages, he said 57,000 villages are still without power while adopting the yardstick of 10 per cent households having power in a village as one considered as electrified.
Goyal, who also holds the coal portfolio, rued while the power plant capacity has increased by 60 per cent in the last few years, coal production has gone up by 7 to 8 per cent.
He lamented that coal linkages are "irrational" and are being reviewed across the country that will result in saving a lot of money.