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Govt for strong, enlightened power sector regulator: Moily

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 15:49

New Delhi: The government on Monday said it is for a strong and enlightened regulator for the power sector, indicating that it may provide state regulators greater autonomy in tackling issues that are hampering growth.

"If you want 10 percent growth, you need 9 percent growth in the power sector and that is why we need a strong and enlightened regulator. This is the kind of message we would like to give to the regulators," Power Minister Veerappa Moily told reporters on the sidelines of an NTPC event.

The Power Ministry is taking a meeting of the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) Tuesday to discuss the proposed amendment to the Electricity Act.

"Main agenda will be the proposed amendment to the Electricity Act 2003. It needs to be amended in view of the present and emerging situations and needs in the electricity sector," Moily said, adding that a task force has already been appointed which is looking into the matter.

There is need for appropriate concrete parameters for fixing tariff and that needs to be discussed with them.

On whether the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) would perform the dual function a coal regulator till the time the latter is finalised, Moily said that it is a policy decision which is yet to be taken.

Attorney General of India Goolam Vahanvati is believed to have said that the CERC can revise the electricity tariffs of the power projects by making certain changes in the Power Purchase Agreements or PPAs.

"I don't know whether there is any report from the Attorney General, there is a sanctity for signing of the PPA, it cannot be meddled with that easily," he said.

However, he added, "But whether there is a need it needs to be examined on a case-to-case basis on exceptional circumstances ...I don't think on a routine basis, we can revisit the PPAs."

This move, if passed, would benefit the power companies which are building plants based on imported coal. The international coal became costlier after Indonesia, last year, paired the price of its dry fuel with the global market price.

Power Minister has also called a meeting of the power generation companies on Friday.

"On August 31 we are meeting the power producers, that agenda is yet to be worked out," Moily added.


First Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 15:47
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