The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) extended the time period for thermal power producers to receive a “mega power” certificate for tax purpose to 10 years, from the existing five years.
GMR Energy, Lanco Power, IL&FS, Essar Power and Torrent are among those which would benefit.
The Mega Power Policy, announced in 2014, identified 25 power plants totalling 32,300 Mw for earning additional benefits under the policy.
The incentives provided are tax benefits such as lower customs duty and excise duty exemption for equipment procurement. The policy is for projects over 1,000 Mw and was to end on March 31, 2017.
It is expected that consumers will benefit by way of lower rates. Banks that have financed these projects would also be able to get some relief on their stressed assets. Power plants under construction will benefit by way of savings to the tune of ~30-35 lakh per Mw, said a person in the know.
To avail of the benefits, electricity producers need to enter into purchase agreements for at least 70 per cent of the power generated through competitive bidding and balanced through a regulated market.
Due to the financially beleaguered power distribution sector, only two states have come forward to sign any power purchase agreement (PPA) in four years. This has impacted the producers, which could not avail of the benefits.
The CCEA decision, went an official statement, “is expected to enable developers to competitively bid for PPAs.
Increased power availability will boost overall growth and ensure that cost of power to consumers does not increase”.
The Cabinet approved amendments in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016. This is likely to go to Parliament next week.
The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 9, 2016, and was referred to a standing committee on transport matters. The Cabinet has endorsed nearly all the suggestions made by the panel, said minister Nitin Gadkari.
The proposed law specifically targets traffic offenders with stringent penal provisions. It has identified priority areas for improving road safety.
Stricter penalties are proposed for high risk offences such as drunken driving, dangerous driving, overloading, and non-adherence to safety norms by drivers (such as use of seat belts or helmets).
The Bill also provides for facilitating delivery of services to citizens and transporters. It proposes Aadhaar-based verification for grant of online services, including a learner’s licence.