India govt close to resolving some bad power loans- minister

India govt close to resolving some bad power loans- minister

Expressing unhappiness over the Karnataka Government for not giving the right to way for power transmission projects, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said if the way had been given the Southern Grid capacity could have been expanded four times within five years.

“We have come very close to resolution mechanism for at least those stressed power plants where the promoters are not found to be wilful defaulters or where do not find significant irregularities”, he said. NPAs of state-run banks at the end of last September rose to Rs 6.3 lakh crore (almost $100 billion), as compared to Rs 5.5 lakh crore at the end of June 2016.

Mr. Goyal also said his Ministry was working with NITI Aayog on an energy security policy for the next 25 years and that progress had already been made in reviving stalled hydro projects.

“We are working with the Law Ministry to work on what enabling framework can be quickly brought up by which we can quickly start that auction (for offshore mineral blocks)”, Mr. Goyal said, adding that the current legal set up mean.

Under Uday, a state government agrees to take over 75 per cent debt of its distribution company.

The signatory state gets additional benefits by way of cheaper funds, reduction in aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) and transmission losses and interventions in energy efficiency during the period of turnaround.

When asked what would be an effect of America moving out of Paris climate agreement on the Indian power sector, the minister said: “The prime minister has made it clear that it is his personal commitment, it is an article of faith, it is a joint decision of this country and we all have to work to achieve the goals of worldwide agreement”.

On renewable energy the minister said that India’s installed capacity will surpass thermal power by 2022. “Once this is done, there will be much greater interest in the sector”, Mr. Goyal added.

Besides, as also the Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Goyal said that India has seen a 370 per cent growth in renewable-based generation capacity in the past three years.