Signs MoUs with PDD, JKPDC in presence of Union MoS Power, MoS PMO, LT Governor
Jammu, Jan 3: Jammu and Kashmir Government Sunday signed multiple memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the National Hydro Power Corporation, a Government of India enterprise, for the development and execution of various hydroelectric projects (HEPs) in the UT.
The implementation of 850 MW Ratle HEP and 930 MW Kirthai-II HEP, besides execution of long-pending Sawalkot HEP (1856 MW), Uri-I (Stage-II) (240 MW) and Dulhasti (Stage-II) (258 MW) will involve Rs 35,000 crore investment and make J&K a power surplus region in the country, the government said.
The MoUs were signed between NHPC, J&K Power Development Department (PDD) and J&K Power Development Corporation, a public sector undertaking of J&K Government, in presence of Union MoS Power, Raj Kumar Singh; Lt Governor J&K, Manoj Kumar Sinha; and MoS PMO, Jitendra Singh in a function held here on Sunday.
Locals to be employed in NHPC ventures: Union MoS Power
The MOS Power, while speaking at the occasion, assured the J&K Government of GoI’s support for various power sector reforms.
“Hydroelectric potential successfully ushered the era of development in various states including Sikkim & Himachal Pradesh. J&K should replicate the model,” he was quoted saying, in an official statement.
“According to the national average, electricity in rural areas is 20 hrs and in urban areas is 22-23 hrs. J&K too will reach the milestone if the pace of development is kept the same,” he added.
He said locals will be trained and given employment in NHPC ventures; besides NHPC will see for the development of small hydro projects also.
“We have to do our bit of duty to see electricity reaching every household 24×7,” said the Union MoS.
The Lt Governor said: “The MoUs signed today would attract investments worth Rs 35,000 crore for Jammu & Kashmir power sector and ensuring the region’s energy security and 24-hour power supply to the people of J&K.”
“J&K is taking a quantum leap from being a power deficit to becoming a power surplus in the next four years. For the uninterrupted power supply, this is the most significant move by the J&K Government.”
As per the provisions of these MoUs, the projects will be handed over back to Jammu and Kashmir after 40 years of commercial operation which was not in case of earlier projects allotted to NHPC Limited, he said.
J&K to double power generation by 2024: LG
Speaking on tapping the full potential of hydro energy, the Lt Governor said the vision of the government is to effectively harness hydro energy resources of J&K with a goal to double the energy generation by 2024 and also to prepare a strategy for efficiency through policies, monitoring mechanism to ensure energy security for economic and social benefits.
The Lt Governor said that the numerous hydro resources of Jammu & Kashmir are capable of generating 14,867 MW power but the potential had not been fully exploited, and only 3504 MW power was being generated till now. The works started now will ensure that another 3498 MW power is generated in the next three to four years.
The potential which was achieved in 70 years would now be doubled within the next four years only, claimed the Lt Governor.
J&K’s journey from a power deficit to a power surplus region can only be realized with vision and planning. An entire overhaul is being made possible with the support of the Central Government without any expenditure by the UT administration, the Lt Governor remarked.
Out of the two agreements, the NHPC would work in association with the administration at the first and, the languishing Sawalkot project would be handed over to NHPC for completion under the second. The project has been perpetually postponed since its conception in 1984 and was expected to generate 1856 MW power, he added.
Underscoring the significance of clean, affordable and reliable energy as key factors for the growth of industries, businesses and society, the Lt Governor said that the UT Government is working on environmentally sustainable solar plants to augment renewable energy generation while reviving small hydro projects pending for a long time.
“Jammu & Kashmir was deliberately prevented from attracting investments and despite having the abundant potential of power generation; its energy needs were not addressed. With the execution of new mega power projects, a number of other employment avenues would be generated for the locals. In addition to power generation, strengthening its distribution and transmission infrastructure would also receive our equal efforts,” the Lt Governor said.
Highlighting various measures taken by the Government to streamline power supply across the UT, the Lt Governor said that during the ‘winter preparation’ meeting conducted last year, efforts were made to ensure that except for the scheduled power cuts, the public gets regular power supply. Any disruption in power supply was directed to be rectified within minimum time and a customer care centre was also set up for the purpose in Kashmir division last month. A similar centre was also launched in Jammu division today.
Replacement of faulty transformers has been a serious issue and therefore, a deadline of 24 hours has been set, in case of urban areas, and 48 hours in case of villages, within which the transformers are to be replaced. Although we are supplying 15% more power in comparison to last year, still a lot needs to be done to achieve the desired results, he maintained.
On unscheduled power cuts, the Lt Governor said that he is monitoring the issue of unscheduled power cuts regularly. He also appreciated the efforts of PDD officers and officials for braving the weather and visiting problematic areas and resolving the power issues.
HEPs will increase per capita income of J&K: Jitendra Singh
MoS PMO, Jitendra Singh, in his address, said that the Mega Hydro Power Projects will not only generate employment but would increase the per capita income of J&K.
“All issues inherited from past regimes would be addressed meritoriously taking care of all the stakeholders. J&K will see a new dawn of energy sufficiency and thereby development in all sectors,” he said.
Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, Rohit Kansal gave an overview of the hydropower potential of J&K. He said that the initiative will add more than 3500 MW of energy and will thus help J&K become power surplus UT. We have a natural advantage in hydropower, so we need to exploit it for the benefit of the people, he added.
Screening of film on Hydropower in J&K was one of the main highlights of the event. A video on various activities in the Power Sector in J&K by PDD was also screened on the occasion.
The occasion also witnessed the inauguration of 19 important projects of PDD aimed at greater generation, efficient transmission and better distribution of power supply in J&K during the Mega inauguration ceremony.
Lt Governor discusses J&K power scenario with experts
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.
Union Cabinet approves Rs 5282 cr investment for 850MW Ratle HEP
LG Sinha announces decision, says it will make J&K power surplus
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.
Centre’s tax collection on petrol, diesel up by 48% to Rs1.96 lakh cr
Excise duty witnessed record hike despite low consumption, falling crude prices
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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