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State energy development agency working on mechanism for policy to be introduced soon, according to state official
The government of Maharashtra is planning to introduce an energy audit policy for commercial establishments such as shops and shopping complexes in the near term, a senior official of the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) told Moneylife today.
"We are in the process of preparing the mechanism to introduce the energy audit policy for commercial establishments in the state. The policy will be introduced soon," said Hemant Patil, manager, energy conservation, MEDA.
MEDA, a state nodal agency, undertakes development of renewable energy and facilitates energy conservation in Maharashtra.
Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on 'Energy Conservation, Renewable Energy and Energy Audits', organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Mr Patil said,"Energy conservation is the need of today and the future, as resources of energy such as crude oil, coal and natural gas will not last forever."
Maharashtra generates around 3,500MW to 4,000MW of power a month, of which around 38% is used by industries, 19% for agriculture and 26% is consumed by domestic consumers. Currently, the state faces a deficit of nearly 2,500MW a month.
According to experts from the energy sector who spoke at the workshop, awareness on energy conservation and renewable energy should be spread across society, mainly among farmers. Due to conventional methods and outdated equipment, farmers waste more electricity. Government should take initiatives to minimise wastage, they said.
"To determine the wastage of energy in the industrial sector, an energy audit is necessary, as it identifies loopholes in energy consumption and helps to take action to save energy," said VV Kanetkar of VV Kanetkar & Associates.
Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is helping to set up various projects to meet the state's electricity needs, said B K Verulkar, superintending engineer, MIDC.
"Right now, we provide infrastructure for power generators to produce electricity. We have allotted seven to eight places for setting up thermal power plants. Of these, the Wardha Power Company has already started generation of 270 MW power. We are setting up two hydro projects at Barvi Dam, which will be commissioned by June 2011," Mr Verulkar said. He did not give the financial details about these projects.
Gandhinagar: Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) chairman Deepak Parekh today said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to raise key short-term rates by 25-50 basis points later this month, contending it had no link with food inflation and was likely to hurt growth, reports PTI.
"The RBI may be looking at an increase (of short-term rates) at 25-50 basis points... But I personally feel that interest rates are already high and it will impact the growth of retail loans and housing," Mr Parekh told reporters on the sidelines of 5th Global Summit of Vibrant Gujarat here.
Expressing doubts over taming food inflation through rate hikes, he said food inflation is a supply side problem and not a monetary problem.
"So, I would like to see interest rates to remain the same and the government tackling food shortage in a different manner," he added.
Food inflation moderated, but still remained at elevated level of over 16% for the week ended 1st January.
"We have seen that inflation numbers are so high, mainly food inflation at 18% (for the week ended 25th December). However, there are statements from the government that it will come down to 7% by March," Mr Parekh added.
Mr Parekh also wanted the RBI to cut the requirement of banks to keep certain percentage of their deposits with the central bank, since the system is still facing a cash crunch.
"Liquidity is very tight now... Currently, banks are borrowing Rs70,000 crore to Rs80,000 crore from the RBI on a daily basis. That situation will get a little easier if half a percentage point CRR is reduced," he said.
CRR is a percentage of bank deposits kept with RBI in cash.
He said bankers have gone and pleaded with the RBI to cut CRR. "We will have to see what the RBI does."
The RBI has hiked short-term key rates-repo and reverse repo-six times last year, but pressed a pause button in its review in November, because of tight liquidity.
However, it had said that the move should not be interpreted as reversal of tightening monetary policy, since inflation is still a major problem.