May 7, 2016

States sell Rs 100,000 cr of electricity bonds in first 3 weeks

Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said within a short span of three weeks the states could sell bonds worth Rs one lakh crore. 

As per the schedule we will have another round of sale of state government bonds and discom bonds backed by state government guarantees this fiscal. We have already sold Rs one lakh crore worth of such bonds. The plan is all made out and from time to time these will be approved by the Reserve Bank as per a set procedure, Goyal said one the sidelines of the convocation of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences here.

On coal availability, he said there was sufficient quantity of stock to the extent that in the past four months the government had to regulate production.

He further said to ensure energy security, the government will cut down coal imports further this year and hope to save about Rs 40,000 crore from this.

So far, 10 states, including those with heavily indebted discoms like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, have signed up for the Uday scheme, launched last year to bail out the broke state electricity boards (SEBs). But highly broke SEBs like that of Tamil Nadu which has huge debt of Rs 80,000 crore, has refrained from embracing the scheme.

The scheme envisages the respective states taking over 75 per cent of the SEB dents of Rs 4.3 trillion into their books but will not be calculated as their fiscal deficit. This involves taking over 50 per cent of the short-term liabilities of their respective discoms in FY16 and remaining 25 per cent in FY17.

Uday was launched on November 20 last year to help loss-making power distribution companies in the states to come out of a debt trap of Rs 4.3 lakh crore by March 2016.

In response to the scheme, only 10 states have signed MoUs with the Centre while eight have taken over nearly Rs 99,000 crore, or 50 per cent of their discoms debt by issuing non-SLR bonds on a private placement basis.

Meanwhile, Goyal called upon the institute TISS to conduct training for ministers and bureaucrats in social sciences.

“The TISS should consider training programme in behavioural sciences, ethics and leadership for ministers and other public servants,” he said while addressing the 76th convocation of the premier institute.

TISS was set up by the Tatas in 1936 as the first School of Social Work in the country and became a deemed university in 1964 and is now an autonomous body under the Central government.

Besides the main campus at the northeastern suburb of Deonar, it also has campuses in Hyderabad, Guwahati and Tuljapur. Its Masters programme in HR and Labour Relations is one of the most sought-after programmes in HR in the country.

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