Foreign dev't agencies up stakes in India's power sector

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New Delhi, May 13 (UNI) Country's power sector has netted Rs 8,500 crore in external assistance from multilateral/bilateral agencies in FY07-08 despite a limited basket and stiff competition from projects in other sectors as well as from other developing countries.

The assistance has mainly come from agencies like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

Engagement of multilateral/bilateral agencies such as Japan Bank of International Co-operation and KfW (Germany) in India's power sector has increased manifold in the recent past, demonstrating conclusively a perceptible change in the risk perception of these agencies in respect to the country's power sector.

These agencies are instrumental in providing long term developmental financial assistance to specific projects in central and state sectors on highly competitive terms and conditions.

Agreements in respect of nine power projects spanning power generation, transmission and distribution were signed -- a record 175 per cent growth over the previous year.

In 2006-07, agreements for four power projects with aggregate external assistance of Rs 3,100 crore were signed.

The projects sanctioned during 2007-08 were Rampur HEP/SJVNL(WB), PSDP-IV/PGCIL(WB), Power Sector Transmission-IV/PGCIL (ADB), M P Power investment-I/MPPTCL(ADB), M P Power investment-II/East DISCOM(ADB), M P Power investment-III/MPPTCL(ADB), M P Power investment-IV/E,W,C DISCOM(ADB), Maharashtra Transmission system (JBIC), EHV Transmission system in Haryana/REC(JBIC).

On its part, the government boosted absorption of developmental external assistance in the power sector. During 2007-08, the utilisation of external assistance in 23 power projects in central and state sectors was Rs 2,830.80 crore which is about 18 per cent higher than the utilisation of Rs 2,408.15 crore in these projects during 2006-07.

UNI SD PDT HT1535

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