Shimla, May 19
As many as 87 hydroelectric power projects have registered themselves for water cess. The state Jal Shakti Department had issued notices to 172 power projects for the imposition of water cess.
Reminder may be issued
- The remaining hydroelectric power projects likely to be issued a reminder for registration with the Jal Shakti Department for the purpose of working out water cess
- The Congress government aims to generate a revenue of about Rs 2,000 crore from water cess
- Punjab and Haryana have opposed the cess but Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu is firm on its imposition
Sources say that many projects have adopted the policy of wait and watch as the issue is likely to be embroiled in legal wrangles. “There is a provision in the Himachal Pradesh Water Cess on Hydropower Generation Act that if a power producer fails to register with the Jal Shakti Department within a month, its registration will be considered deemed,” says a senior official.
However, he does not rule out the possibility of a reminder being issued to the remaining hydroelectric power projects for registration with the department for the purpose of working out water cess.
Some independent power producers have challenged the imposition of water cess in the Himachal High Court. Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand have also imposed water cess on power projects but it has been challenged in Himachal only.
The Himachal Pradesh Water Cess on Hydropower Generation Act was passed during the Budget session in March. The government aims to generate a revenue of about Rs 2,000 crore from the cess.
Punjab and Haryana have opposed the cess but Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu is firm on its imposition in view of the financial crisis the state is facing. The Director, Union Ministry of Power, had on April 25 termed the water cess imposed by Himachal as ‘illegal and unconstitutional’. He had asked all public sector undertakings like the NTPC, NHPC and the SJVN to challenge it.
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