Power ministry forwards 12th Plan capacity addition proposal to Plan panel

The power ministry has set a target for adding 76,000 MW of electricity capacity in the 12th Plan (2012-17) and 93,000 MW in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2017-2022). However, the Planning Commission is mulling to fix a target for about 1,00,000 MW of capacity addition in the power sector

New Delhi: The ministry of power is believed to have sent its proposal for addition of 76,000 MW of power capacity in the 12th Five-Year Plan to the Planning Commission, even as the sector battles acute fuel shortages and environmental issues, reports PTI.

The power ministry has set a target for adding 76,000 MW of electricity capacity in the 12th Plan (2012-17) and 93,000 MW in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2017-2022). The ministry is understood to have sent the recommendation to the Plan panel.

“We have finalised 76,000 MW capacity addition for the 12th Plan and 93,000 MW for the 13th Plan... Now the Planning Commission has to approve it,” a power ministry official told PTI.

Planning Commission member BK Chaturvedi had earlier said the Planning Commission may fix a target for about 1,00,000 MW of capacity addition in the power sector.

During this period, an investment of about Rs6 lakh crore is expected in power generation projects.

The government had earlier set a goal for adding 78,577 MW of electricity capacity during the 11th Five-Year Plan, which was scaled down to 62,000 MW by the Planning Commission in its mid-term review, citing environmental and land acquisition hurdles.

However, power minister Sushilkumar Shinde recently said the sector would not be able to achieve even the revised target and may end up adding 52,000 MW during the five-year period to March 2012.

The remaining capacity addition target would be carried forward to the next Plan.

He said the country has achieved about two-and-a-half times the capacity addition witnessed in the 10th Plan.

The power ministry may not be able to meet its target for the 11th Plan due to environmental issues and coal and gas shortages.

Power projects being executed by state-owned hydro-power generation company NHPC, which were scheduled for commissioning during the current Plan, would now start electricity generation in the 12th Plan.

NHPC’s 2,000-MW Subansiri project in Assam and 3,000-MW Dibang project in Arunachal Pradesh are still awaiting environment clearances.

The country’s largest power producer, NTPC, which had set itself a mammoth target of becoming a 75,000 MW company by 2017, is also believed to have brought down this target to 70,000 MW because of scarcity of gas.

 

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Finance ministry for higher excise duty on diesel cars

The oil ministry has argued that the additional amount garnered can be used to make good a part of the loss that fuel retailers incur on the sale of diesel at government-controlled rates. The retailers are expected to incur a loss of about Rs82,000 crore in 2011-12

New Delhi: Diesel car buyers may have to shell out more with the finance ministry considering the imposition of higher excise duty on such vehicles in the upcoming Budget likely to be unveiled sometime in March, reports PTI.

In order to discourage consumption of subsidised diesel by personal vehicle owners, the petroleum ministry had suggested the imposition of higher duty on the purchase of diesel cars to the finance ministry.

“We are working on the proposal to impose higher excise duty on diesel cars,” a senior finance ministry official said.

While the petroleum ministry has been asking for a hike in the excise duty on diesel cars, the heavy industries ministry is opposing the move.

The oil ministry has argued that the additional amount garnered can be used to make good a part of the loss that fuel retailers incur on the sale of diesel at government-controlled rates. The retailers are expected to incur a loss of about Rs82,000 crore in 2011-12.

The higher duty would also prevent ‘dieselisation’ of the economy, it has been reasoned.

The Kirit Parikh Committee on Energy had also suggested a one-time additional excise duty of Rs80,000 on diesel cars, arguing that it would offset the higher excise duty on petrol.

Petrol cars up to 4 metres long and with a 1,200-cc engine capacity and diesel cars up to 4 metres long with a 1,500-cc engine capacity attract 10% excise duty.

In addition, petrol cars longer than 4 metres and with an engine capacity above 1,200-cc and diesel cars more than 4 metres in length and with an engine capacity above 1,500-cc attract excise duty at the rate of 22%, plus Rs15,000.

The diesel price of Rs40 a litre in Delhi is Rs14.57 lower than its imported cost.

Diesel is the most consumed fuel in the country but is sold at a discount to its imported cost. The current diesel subsidy is Rs14.57 per litre and on an annualised basis this amounts to Rs82,000 crore out of the total fuel subsidy, estimated at Rs 136,936 crore in the current fiscal.

Subsidised diesel is the preferred fuel for the transport sector (both trucks and passenger buses) and is also used in irrigation pumps and other agriculture equipment.

Luxury cars and SUVs also run on diesel and so do power generators at malls and telecom towers.

It has long been argued that the rich should not get subsidised fuel. According to oil ministry estimates, 15% of diesel consumption is accounted for by personal cars and SUVs.

As per official figures, in the last 15 years—with the exception of 1996-97 and 2004-05—petrol growth has been generally more than diesel.

However, in April-November 2011, diesel growth stood at 7.4%, as against the petrol growth rate of 4.3%. Similarly, the growth rate of diesel in November 2011 was 16% against November 2010 as compared to a negative growth of -2.4% in petrol.

 

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Government may bring Microfinance Bill in Budget Session

 The draft Bill proposes to make it mandatory for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to be registered with the RBI and have minimum net-owned funds of Rs5 lakh

New Delhi: The government is likely to introduce a Bill that seeks to make it mandatory for all microfinance institutions to be registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the Budget Session of Parliament, reports PTI.

The finance ministry has sent the draft Bill to the law ministry for approval and will subsequently seek the Cabinet’s nod, official sources said.

The ministry hopes to table the Bill in the upcoming Budget Session of Parliament, which is expected to commence in mid-March.

The draft Micro Financial Sector (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011, circulated for public comments in July last year had proposed that the RBI will be regulator for the sector.

In an earlier Bill, it was proposed that the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) would be the regulator of the sector.

The government introduced the Micro Financial Sector Bill in the Lok Sabha in March 2007. However, the Bill lapsed when the term of the 14th Lok Sabha expired in 2009.

The latest draft Bill proposes to make it mandatory for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to be registered with the RBI and have minimum net-owned funds of Rs5 lakh.

In addition, a Microfinance Development Council will be set up to advise the government on formulation of policies, schemes and other measures required in the interest of orderly growth and development of the sector and micro-finance institutions with a view to promote financial inclusion.

The council will comprise members not below the rank of executive director from NABARD, National Housing Bank, the RBI and SIDBI. In addition, joint secretaries from the ministry of finance and the ministry of rural development will also be its members.

The draft Bill also proposes that any MFI which is not a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956, and which becomes a systemically important MFI shall convert its institution into a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956, with or without a licence, under Section 25 of the Act.

This should happen within six months from the date of the balance sheet that shows the MFI has become a systematically important MFI in terms of the rules prescribed by the central government, the draft Bill said.

The RBI may pass an order directing a MFI to cease and desist from carrying out microfinance activities if it is found acting in manner prejudicial to the interest of its clients or depositors.

The RBI will cancel the certificate of registration granted to a MFI if it fails to comply with the directives or conditions, the draft Bill states.

 

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COMMENTS

ASG

5 years ago

Net owned fund is Rs 5Crs not Rs 5 lacs

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