Centre to hike investment cap for NTPC in JVs, subsidiaries

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 16 2009, 05:47am hrs
In a major policy shift, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Indias largest power generator with the installed capacity of 29,584 mw, will be allowed to increase its investments in subsidiary/joint venture (JV) projects to 50% of net worth instead of current delegation of 30%.

Moreover, NTPC will also be allowed to increase its exposure beyond Rs1,000 crore in the existing as well as new subsidiaries or joint venture companies. Currently, the state-run company operates 2,044 mw of power projects in joint venture and has a total of seven JVs in place. Four more JVs, including that with Nuclear Power Corporation, will be incorporated soon in the power generation. NTPC, which can now invest up to Rs 15,000 crore based on the limit of 30% of its net worth of Rs 45,000 crore, will be able to invest well over Rs 22,000 crore after the central government relaxes its current norms.

Minister of state for power and commerce Jairam Ramesh told FE, The government has received NTPCs presentation. The government will revise the existing investment norms for NTPC.

NTPC in its appeal to the power ministry said. The board of directors be empowered to exercise enhanced powers to invest up to 15% of its net worth in single JV/subsidiary instead of current deletation of 15% limited to Rs 1,000 crore and the enhancement of overall ceiling of such investments to 50% of net worth instead of current delegation of 30% of net worth. In the current format, NTPC will be entitled to investment 15% of its net worth or up to Rs 1,000 crore, whichever is higher.

However, with the proposed relaxation of norms by the centre, NTPC will be able to invest 50% of its net worth and even beyond Rs 1,000 crore. NTPC chairman and managing director RS Sharma said, NTPC has taken up the matter with the power ministry.