Underutilised funds: CERC plans to review PSDF norms

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New Delhi | Published: June 4, 2019 3:36:25 AM

The operationisation of the PSDF was approved by the UPA government in the final days of its tenure in January 2014. As on December 31, 2013, about `6,300 crore was available with the PSDF.

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The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has proposed to review the regulations for the power system development fund (PSDF) to smoothen the process of project approvals under the scheme. The development comes at a time when less than 18% of `10,894 crore sanctioned under the PSDF remains utilised.

The fund was formed to make the power transmission system more free flowing, improve the grid’s voltage profile and renovate transmission and distribution systems. According to the new proposals of the CERC “based on experience achieved so far”, the scheme may avoid the multiple levels of scrutiny during the approval process. Since there are various committees to oversee utilisation of these funds, existing provisions for the same need to be reviewed to avoid conflicting interpretations of the norms by multiple authorities, the power regulator said.

As FE reported earlier, as many as 117 projects were being implemented across the country based on the grant from the PSDF, and only `1,894 crore had been disbursed till October 31, 2018. Several projects under the PSDF, sanctioned as early as 2015, had not received 30% of their sanctioned amount according to the latest minutes of meeting of the national power committee.

The operationisation of the PSDF was approved by the UPA government in the final days of its tenure in January 2014. As on December 31, 2013, about `6,300 crore was available with the PSDF.

The guidelines for fund disbursement under the PDSF was issued in September 2014. In March 2017, 57 power transmission projects worth Rs 7,268 crore had been sanctioned under the scheme. To provide temporary relief to stressed gas-based power plants, about `1,500 crore was used from this fund to supply the fuel at subsidised rates to the stranded electricity generation units during FY16 and FY17.

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