Presiding over the meeting with the Association of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu assured full support to make their projects economically viable by assisting in removing all the hindrances. He said that the State Government would provide hand holding in getting all clearances to set up their power projects. He said that if any gram Panchayat does not provide No Objection Certificate (NOC) in a stipulated time period, it would be considered deemed to be sanctioned. He said that State Government would bring Open Hydro Policy in order to facilitate the power producers.
Chief Minister said that besides tourism, Hydel sector was the main resource of revenue for the State exchequer. He said that the State Government has enacted Water Cess Act to strengthen the economy of the State. He sought a self proposal from the IPPs on the quantum of water cess to implement the Act and said that the government would sympathetically consider their proposal. The Chief Minister said that the State Government was also taking up the issue of enhancing the royalty in the power projects set up by Central PSUs especially which have covered their expenses. On the demand of IPPs, Chief Minister directed the HPPTCL to expedite the laying of power transmission lines in order to evacuate the power supply from generation sites well in time so that they may not have to face the financial losses.
The Chief Minister said that State Government would consider their demand positively for the calculation of power tariffs from the date of commercial operation rather than from the date of Power Purchase Agreement for 41 power projects. He said that the State Government would also issue advisory to Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission to consider royalty on actual basis i.e. 12, 18 and 30 percent.
Chief Minister said that 111 mini and micro power projects were contributing Rs. 223.60 crore as annual revenue to the State exchequer. He asked the IPPs to complete their power projects in time bound manner so that the benefits of these projects could be reaped at the earliest. He said that there was potential of 3,539 MW power through IPPs out of which only 754 MW has been harnessed so far.
The State Government was also prioritizing to harness solar and wind energy and has set a target of producing 500 MW solar power during this year, besides a study is also underway to set up wind energy power projects in the State, said the Chief Minister.
Industries Minister Harshwardhan Chauhan, MLA Chander Shekhar, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Bharat Khera, Secretary Jal Shakti Vibhag Amitabh Awasthy, Managing Director Himachal Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. Rugved Thakur, Director Energy Harikesh Meena and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.