Centre considers changing mega power project policy : Shinde

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Kolkata, Feb 15(UNI) The Union Power Ministry plans to bring in a change in its mega project policy to enable investors to get more concessions.

''We have mooted a proposal for changing the mega power project policy. It will seek Cabinet approval before being placed in Parliament,'' Union Power Minister Shushil Kumar Shinde today said.

Talking to medipersons on the sidelines of 'Electricity East 2008', a two-day seminar, organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce, Mr.Shinde said under the changed policy, power plants of 1,000 MW and 500 MW respectively in the thermal and hydel sectors will be treated as mega projects.

However, for the North-Eastern region, the benchmark will be 300 MW, he said.

Okayed at the Secretary level, the proposal seeks to ensure that entrepreneurs, investing in power projects at the lowest level, get custom and tax concessions, he said.

The Minister, however, refused to divulge details of the proposal since Parliament session was on.

He said the Ministry had so far placed orders for generation of 65,000 MW out of the targeted 80,000 MW to be added in the eleventh plan. Mr Shinde said 7,000 MW was already in the grid.

In reply to a question, the minister said strict monitoring was being maintained for completion of all ongoing power projects within the stipulated timeframe.

However, admitting that shortage of power plant equipment manufacturers was the main hindrance to speedy commssioning of projects, he appealed to industrialists to set up subsidiaries in this sector.

''I am worried that if it is okay for the eleventh plan, what is our preparedness for the next plan? When we are talking about so much of capacity addition, can only one company be adequate to provide all the machinaries,'' the minister asked.

It was out of this need that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave nod to setting up more equipment manufacturing companies resulting in a MoU between NTPC and BHEL and NTPC and Bharat Forge, Mr Shinde said.

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