Approach to fix power woes evokes mix reactions from India Inc

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 28 2008, 04:52am hrs
The Centres decision on Friday to approve Integrated Energy Policy, after two-and-half years it was submitted in August 2006, comes at a time when the peaking shortage is at 14% and energy shortfall at 8% as import dependence on crude continues unabated, gas and coal shortages are rising and last but the least there has been a dismal progress on tapping the renewable energy.

The policy formulated by a committee chaired by the Planning Commission member Kirit Parikh envisions a roadmap for sustainable growth with energy security over a reasonable period of time. To deliver a sustained growth rate of 8% by 2031-32 and to meet energy needs, the committee observed India needs to increase its primary supply by 3 to 4 times and its electricity generation capacity/supply by 5 to 6 times of 2003-04 levels.

The governments move has evoved mixed reactions from the public and private sector players and also from bureaucrats. While power companies welcome the move saying the policys end to end and not segment wise approach for the energy sector remains crucial as it takes care of all aspects including fuel in particular. They put onus on the government for its speedy implementation. However, former power secretary RV Shahi expressed displeasure that there has been a delay in the clearance of the policy. He suggested the government should make up delays through expeditious actions.

Reliance ADAG sources told FE, The holistic approach is quite important and the policy will help to meet energy requirements of the country. Power secretary Anil Razdan, who was involved in the finalisation of the policy, said its a good document to look at the future and a roadmap for further actions.

Similarly, NTPC chairman and managing director RS Sharma said, The policy will give a direction for the development of energy sector by 2032. Players will have a clarity on the availability of potential and how to tap it.

Amt Shah, analyst with the BNP Paribas suggested the government needs to provide additional icentives to attract more foreign players in the exploration and production. After Bombay High there has not been other major discoveries so far. Despite seven rounds of NELP, there has been low response from foreign players and thus more sops are needed in taxation and profit petroleum, he added.