Rs 800 cores for power development: FM

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New Delhi, Feb 29: For accelerating power development and project reforms, the government has proposed to provide Rs 800 crores in 2008-09 and said it will set up a national fund for transmission and distribution reforms. Huge investments are still recquired in transmssion and distribution that is a drag on the sector, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said in his Budget speech 2008-09.

On Ultra Mega Power project, he said the fourth project at Tilaiya wil be awarded shortly. It is porposed to bring five more UMPPs in Chhatisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu to the bidding stage provided the states extend the required support. ''I urge them to do so,'' Mr Chidambaram said. The 11th plan target for additional power generation capacity is 78,577 MW, which is more than the total capicity added in the previous three plans, the FM said.

He said by March 2008 end, the country will achieve Commercial Operation Date (COD) on about 10,000 MW marking the best five year in any plan period.

''The government will re-double its efforts to ensure that the ambitious target for the eleventh plan is achieved.'' he said.

He said Rs 5,500 crores will be allocated in 2008-09 for the ongoing Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana.

UNI

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