April 22, 2016

Government to set up help desk for investors in energy sector

EW YORK: Eyeing an investment of $1 trillion in the energy sector, India will set up help desks across the country as well as in the US, the UK, Australia and Japan to handhold investors through laws and regulations.

Interacting with reporters here yesterday, Minister for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy PiyushGoyal, currently in the US, said investors have mainly expressed concerns on two issues — health of power distribution companies and different regulations and regimes in states.
“One very good suggestion… is we should have a help desk in Delhi or different parts of India which can help investors navigate different tax laws and regulatory mechanisms. As soon as I get back, I am looking at setting that up,” he said. 

The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd ( IREDA) is likely to be the nodal agency that would set up such help desks.

“I am also going to explore the possibility of having such a help desk which can give credible guidance and help people navigate in their investments in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia as well,” he said. 

The department is already looking at standard Power Purchase Agreements across the country and has tied up with states to bring out a framework of agreement to help investors across the world.

While investors expressed concern on financial health of discoms is some states, they were at the same time “excited” about the potential of the UDAY scheme for turnaround of the power distribution companies. 

According to Goyal, India offers the world a huge market opportunity with a demand growth of quadrupling energy consumption by 2030.

“I see in the next 5-6 years a $250 billion opportunity in the energy sector and by 2030, when we are planning to expand renewable energy also very significantly, I see a trillion dollar investment opportunity in India,” he said.

Goyal claimed that this kind of investment would be unparalleled and expressed confidence that savvy investors will see great hope and potential in the Indian power sector.

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