Tribune News Service
Shimla, June 24
The Cabinet today gave a nod to the return of Rs 85 crore to Reliance Power paid as an upfront premium for two hydro-power projects of Purthy (Pangi) and Sumte Kothang in Spiti district that the company had surrendered.
Reliance had approached the Power Department for the return of Rs 85 crore. The Cabinet decided to return the money to Reliance, lest they knocked at the court’s door.
Reliance had been allotted these two projects about a decade ago, but later they surrendered the project on the grounds that the capacity of the 300 MW Purthy project in Pangi, Chamba, had declined by more than 20 per cent. There is a provision in the Hydro Power Policy of the state that a power producer can decline to take up the project on these grounds. In case of the Sumte Kothang hydro power project in the tribal district of Lahaul Spiti, Reliance had declined to execute the project due to stiff opposition by locals.
In fact, Reliance Power had been imposed a penalty of Rs 25 lakh for delaying the payment of upfront premium in case of the Purthy project and Rs 22 lakh in case of the Sumte Kothang project. Reliance had paid a sum of Rs 60 crore as an upfront premium for the Purthy project and Rs 25 crore for the Sumte Kothang project.
“The Cabinet has approved the payment of Rs 85 crore to Reliance after deducting Rs 47 lakh that had been imposed as penalty on them for delaying the payment of second instalment of the upfront premium that they had to pay for the two projects in Purthy (Pangi) and Sumte Kothang in Spiti district,” said sources.
Ordinance to restore bars, clubs
The Cabinet also gave approval to the Excise and Taxation Department to promulgate an ordinance which will pave the way for the restoration of thousands of bars, restaurants and clubs which had to face closure on account of the liquor ban on highways. Thousands of people and their livelihood will be restored by the promulgation of the ordinance which will amend the Himachal Pradesh Excise and Taxation Act-2007. “The ordinance is likely to be promulgated on June 27 and the amendment Bill will be tabled during the Monsoon Session,” said sources.
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