New Delhi: State-owned NHPC, which has embarked on ambitious expansion plans, has approached the government seeking 'Navratna' status that would provide the power producer more leeway in investment decisions.
The move comes at a time when NHPC, the country's largest hydel power generator, has firmed up plans to foray into thermal, solar and wind energy segments.
"We have submitted the proposal seeking Navratna status to the government," a senior official said.
The proposal was submitted to the Power Ministry, which has forwarded the same to the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), the official said.
DPE, the nodal agency for public sector undertakings, comes under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
According to the official, Navratna status would provide the company with more autonomy and flexibility in deciding on investments.
Currently, NHPC is a 'Mini Ratna Category-I' enterprise. Established in 1975, the company has an authorised share capital of Rs 15,000 crore.
The company raked in a net profit of Rs 2,348.22 crore in the last financial year.
'Navratna' status provides for greater autonomy and more powers to the company's board, especially on investment decisions.
Among others, the board of a 'Navratna' company can decide on investments worth up to Rs 1,000 crore in a single project without going for government approval.
As per the guidelines for such entities, the ceiling on investment to establish financial joint ventures and wholly owned subsidiaries in the country or overseas shall be 15 percent of the company's net worth in one project limited to Rs 1,000 crore.
At present, there are about 14 Navratna companies.
NHPC has an installed power generation capacity of 5,702 MW, including 1,520 MW implemented through joint ventures.
Seven projects, having total capacity of 4,095 MW are under construction.
Moving forward with its diversification agenda, NHPC would be developing a 1,320 MW thermal power project alongwith Chattisgarh government in that state.
Besides, plans are on the anvil for developing grid connected 50 MW wind and 100 MW solar power projects.
"NHPC has been allowed to plan, promote and organise an integrated and efficient development of power through conventional and non-conventional sources in India and abroad," Director (Finance) A B L Srivastava had said earlier.
First Published: Sunday, October 6, 2013, 13:21