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To clear power dues, J&K raises Rs 11,000-cr loan under Atmanirbhar Abhiyan

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J&K raises Rs 11000 cr loan

BK News

Srinagar, Dec 12: To clear its outstanding electricity purchase payments, Jammu and Kashmir Government has raised Rs 11024.47 crore loan through Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan under liquidity infusion scheme in DISCOMs.

An MoU for availing the second tranche of the loan for Rs 5444.47 crores was signed between JK Power Development Department, J&K Power Corporation Ltd. and Power Finance Corporation (PFC) in the presence of the Principal Secretary Power Development Department, Rohit Kansal at Srinagar on Saturday, an official spokesperson said.

The MoU was signed by the Director Finance PDD, MH Malik and Chief Engineer JKPCL, Mohammad Yousuf Baba and Madhu Chakraborty GM, L&D PFC. The MDs of the DISCOMS, Chief engineers of PDD and other senior officers were present on the occasion. The ED of the PFC Manoj Sharma joined the ceremony through video conferencing.

The agreement for availing of the first tranche of the loan for Rs 5580 crores had already been signed by the department with REC and PFC in October.

Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the Government of India had announced a special package of Rs 90000 crore for liquidity infusion in power distribution companies (discoms) for clearing of their power purchase liabilities to tide over financial crises owing to low power recoveries.

In pursuance, Jammu and Kashmir immediately started fulfilment of pre-loan requisites and signed the MoU for the first tranche of the loan of Rs 5580 crores through PFC and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) in October 2020.

With the signing of today’s MoU J&K would be able to lift the full quantum of a loan of Rs 11024.47 crores allotted to it enabling it to fully liquidate its power purchase liabilities as accumulated on June 30, the spokesperson said.

“J&K has an annual power purchase bill of Rs 6000 crore to Rs 6500 crores against which the power recoveries are just Rs 2200 crore to Rs 2300 crore making for an annual deficit of Rs more than 4000 crores,” he said.

The power purchase liability of J&K towards various CPUs ending June 2020 had swollen to Rs 11500 crores which were being charged at a late payment surcharge (interest rate) of 18% per annum. The loan assistance will enable savings of nearly Rs 1000 crore to J&K on account of difference in the rate of interest (late payment surcharge) that was otherwise being charged by the creditors against these power purchase liabilities.

Energy

Lt Governor discusses J&K power scenario with experts

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Lt Governor discusses power scenario

BK News

Jammu, Jan 24: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha Sunday chaired a meeting with the experts from the power sector and officers of J&K Power Distribution Corporation here at Raj Bhavan.

Today’s meeting was the second in a week to assess and analyse the power scenario in the UT and propose solutions for creating a robust power supply system in J&K.

BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department and Information Department; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor; Raja Yaqoob Farooq, MD JKPDCL and Chief Engineers attended the meeting.

Chairperson, Board of Directors, IIT Bhubaneswar and former Chairman and MD PGCIL, Dr Rajendra Prasad Singh led the team of experts from the power sector.

A detailed presentation on “Path to a Healthy and Resilient Power Supply system in Jammu” was given by Former Director General, NPTI and ED Power Grid Corporation, Dr NS Saxena.

While discussing the issues related to streamlining the power supply system, the Lt Governor laid special emphasis on using the latest technologies and models for distribution and link strengthening in critical areas.

The Lt Governor directed the concerned officers of JKPDD and JKPDC to work on war footing to identify critical issues, their probable causes and likely mitigations in order to further improve the scenario of power supply system in J&K. “Things have improved for better but it needs to be made the best,” observed the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor also reviewed the implementation of directions and suggestions made during the previous meeting.

A threadbare discussion was held on various power-related issues and short-term solutions were proposed for transformer and link strengthening, augmentation of transmission and distribution system, and future course of action, besides the identification of issues like pilferage, overloading, ageing of transformers and their impact on the power supply.

The Lt Governor was also briefed about the series of discussions and meetings held between the team of experts with JKPDD and JKPDC officials after the last meeting held on 20th January 2021.

Recommendations were made for focusing on immediate and short-term plans to strengthen the infrastructure to ensure improved power supply status in Jammu region to cater to peak load surge during coming summer, besides identification and aligning on critical gaps.

The chair was further informed about the extensive exploratory meetings and surveys done with the local teams on transmission sites and distribution issues.

It was informed that system strengthening is in progress under various schemes of the Government under which several 33/11 KV substations are being erected for better power supply to various under-serviced areas.

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Union Cabinet approves Rs 5282 cr investment for 850MW Ratle HEP

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Investment for 850MW Ratle HEP

LG Sinha announces decision, says it will make J&K power surplus

BK News

Jammu/Srinagar, Jan 20: Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved Rs 5282 crore investment for 850MW Ratle Hydro Electric Project (HEP) on River Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district.

The Ratle HEP will be constructed by a joint venture company incorporated between NHPC and JKSPDC with equity contributions of 51% and 49% respectively, according to a statement by the Government of India.

Later on the day, Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Kumar Sinha held a press conference in Jammu to announce the Union Cabinet’s decision.

The LG, according to J&K Government statement, termed it a historical decision for making J&K power surplus UT.

He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for approving the HEP and ensuring the development of Jammu & Kashmir.

He blamed the previous governments for what he called their lackluster approach towards the execution of the project.

Lt Governor said that Jammu & Kashmir was deprived of this mega project for so long because “the previous regimes were scared to move ahead” due to Pakistan’s threats of going to International court for arbitration, and making representation in the World Bank.

“But, today the nation is under the strong and decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is taking bold decisions for the welfare of the people of J&K and has ensured that this project sees the light of the day, besides also providing Equity contribution support to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” the LG said.

“J&K is witnessing unprecedented growth and development in every sector; we are unlocking J&K’s potential to be self-reliant in the energy sector within a short span of time.”

Highlights Rs 5282 cr investment for 850MW Ratle HEP

Highlighting the key features of the mega project, the Lt Governor said that apart from making J&K energy sufficient, the 850MW Ratle HEPwill create 4000 jobs in J&K, directly & indirectly, and will contribute to the overall socio-economic development of the UT. In addition, the Kwar project (540 MW) has been decided to be taken up. This will result in an investment of Rs.4,264 Crores and create more than 2000 jobs in the UT, he added.

The Lt Governor observed that four more projects (Kirthai-II (930MW), Sawalkot (1,856MW), Uri-I (Stage-II) (240MW), and Dulhasti (Stage-II) (258MW) involving an investment of Rs.31,000 Cr have also been decided to be taken up for construction.  These projects together with the two ongoing projects of Pakaldul (1000 MW) and Kiru (624MW) on Chenab river and its tributaries will result in an investment of about Rs.52,821 Crores and create more than 12000 jobs in the Union Territory.

To train the local people, the Ministry of Power / Ministry of Skill Development proposes to set up training centres near the project sites in collaboration with NHPC Ltd, so that they can be employed in the projects, observed the Lt Governor.

The government of India is also supporting the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir by providing a grant of Rs 776.44 crore for the Equity contribution of JKSPDC in the JVC to be set up for the construction of the Ratle HEP (850 MW). NHPC will invest its equity Rs 808.14 crore from its internal resources.

Ratle HEP will be commissioned within a span of 60 months. The Power generated from the project will help in providing balancing of Grid and will improve the power supply position.

J&K Government will extend the exemption from levy of Water Usage Charges for 10 years after commissioning of the project, reimbursement of State’s share of GST (i.e. SGST), and waiver of free power to the State in a decremental manner, i.e., the free power to the State would be 1% in the first year after COD and rising at1% per year to 12% in the 12th year.

The construction activities of the Project will result in direct and indirect employment to around 4000 persons and will contribute to the overall socio-economic development of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Further, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be benefitted from free power of around Rs 5289 crore and Rs 9581 crore with Water Usage Charges from Ratle Hydro Electric Project, during the project life cycle of 40 years.

Prominent among others, present on the occasion were BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary, and Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, and Information Department, besides senior officers of Civil Administration.

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Energy

Centre’s tax collection on petrol, diesel up by 48% to Rs1.96 lakh cr

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Record collection on petrol diesel

Excise duty witnessed record hike despite low consumption, falling crude prices

BK News

New Delhi, Jan 17: While the pandemic pummelled tax collection across the board, excise duty mop-up jumped 48% in the current fiscal on the back of a record increase in taxes on petrol and diesel, that more than made up for the below normal fuel sales.

Excise duty collection during April-November 2020, was at Rs 1.96 lakh crore (Rs 1,96,342 crore), up from Rs1.33 lakh crore mop-up during the same period in 2019, according to data from the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).

This despite the fact that over 10 million tonnes less diesel – the most used fuel in the country – was sold during the eight months period.

Diesel sales during April-November 2020, stood at 44.9 million tonnes as compared to 55.4 million tonnes a year back, according to data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC).

Petrol consumption too was lower at 17.4 million tonnes, compared to 20.4 million tonnes during April-November 2019.

While Goods and Services Tax (GST) apply on most products since its introduction in 2017, oil products and natural gas has been kept out of its preview. Excise duty, which accrues to the centre, and VAT that goes to the state government, are levied on their sale.

Industry sources said the jump in excise duty was primarily because of a record increase in taxes on petrol and diesel during March and May last year.

The central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs13 per litre and that on diesel by Rs16 a litre in two tranches to mop up gains arising from international crude oil prices falling to a two-decade low.

With this, the total incidence of excise duty on petrol rose to Rs 32.98 per litre and that on diesel to Rs 31.83 a litre.

In full 2019-20 fiscal (April 2019 to March 2020), excise collection totalled Rs 2,39,599 crore, according to CGA.

Central excise duty makes up 39% of petrol and 42.5% of diesel. After considering local sales tax or VAT, the total tax incidence in the price is about two-thirds of the retail rate.

The excise tax on petrol was Rs 9.48 per litre when the Modi government took office in 2014, and that on diesel was Rs 3.56 a litre.

The government had between November 2014 and January 2016, raised excise duty on petrol and diesel on nine occasions to take away gains arising from plummeting global oil prices.

In all, duty on petrol rate was hiked by Rs11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in those 15 months that helped government’s excise mop up more than double to Rs 2,42,000 crore in 2016-17, from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15.

The government had cut excise duty by Rs 2 in October 2017, and by Rs1.50 a year later. But it raised excise duty by Rs 2 per litre in July 2019. It again raised excise duty on March 2020, by Rs 3 per litre each. In May that year, the government hiked excise duty on petrol by Rs10 per litre and that on diesel by Rs13 a litre.

While basic excise duty on crude is not so significant, it is ad valorem (a certain percentage of value) on ATF at 11 % and on natural gas-compressed 14 %. In case of an ad valorem system, earnings happen only if the product price goes up.

According to CGA, overtax revenue of the government is down 45.5 % at Rs 688,430 crore during April-November. For the full 2020-21 fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021), the government had budgeted Rs 16.35 lakh crore tax revenue.

Corporation tax mop-up is down 35 % at Rs 185,699 crore and income tax collection is 12 % lower at Rs 235,038 crore, the CGA data showed. — PTI 

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