Waive free power condition, check delays: Centre

SHIMLA: The Centre has asked Himachal and other hill states to waive 13 per cent free power from six to 10 years, check delays in clearances and keep off activism by NGOs.

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Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 3

The Centre has asked Himachal and other hill states to waive 13 per cent free power from six to 10 years, check delays in clearances and keep off activism by NGOs.

Union Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh, who was here for a conference of power ministries of the states to review the progress of the power sector in Kufri, remained non-committal on incentivising the sagging hydropower sector. He said the Cabinet would take the final call on various issues in the new power policy.

The Pandya panel, in its report submitted to the Ministry of Power in 2016, had recommended that the Centre should declare hydropower as a renewable source of green energy, along the lines of solar and wind energy.

This, along with other cost-cutting measures, would bring down the cost of hydropower energy to Rs 5 per unit from the staggering Rs 9 per unit that had made it unsalable to power distribution companies, the panel had recommended.

The BJP government has also mulled a new policy and sought some incentives, including royalty on power projects, as Himachal is a special category state.

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