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Home News Power Sector News REC Chief P Uma Shankar appointed as Power Secretary

REC Chief P Uma Shankar appointed as Power Secretary

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P Uma ShankerP Uma Shankar, the chairman and managing director of state owned Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd, has been appointed the new power secretary. Uma Shankar will replace incumbent Hari Shankar Brahma, who had superannuated office on 30 April. Shankar is a 1976 batch IAS officer from the UP cadre and has been heading the state-run power funding agency since March 1, 2008.

Shankar, 56, holds a masters degree in mathematics from IIT-Chennai and in social policy and planning from London School of Economics. With 31 years of experience in government institutions, Shankar takes up his new assignment at a juncture when the ministry is grappling with several issues crucial to powering the engine of economic growth.

A ministry task list for the new secretary gives top priority to reducing shortage of electricity and ensuring that projects to ramp up generation capacity in the country do not miss the revised Plan target. With demand outstripping generation or new capacity, there was overall 10% shortage and 13% peak shortage duirng 2009-10.

One of the major tasks for Shankar will be to remove bottlenecks - from transportation infrastructure to environmental clearances -- in coal supply to power stations. There is also a need bring states on the same page to kick-start reforms in their utilities and improve efficiency in the system.

While these may well be the things that the doctor may prescribe for a bureaucrat, the gas supply contract dispute between state-owned NTPC and Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd - pending before the Bombay High Court - may prove to be a different kettle altogether. But with over three years to go, time could be on Shankar's side.

Source- Times of India

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