Empowered committee on power transmission to meet on Wednesday
The empowered committee on power transmission is likely to decide on the level of private participation in the newly sanctioned projects of about Rs 1,500 crore as it meets here on Wednesday. While more than Rs 515 crore worth transmission projects are being implemented through the tariff-based competitive bidding (TBCB) route, the committee will have to take a call on whether the rest of the projects in the pipeline would also be put under TBCB (which allows private-sector participation), or be allotted to Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) on the grounds of “technical upgradation”.
The amended national tariff policy of 2011 mandated TBCB for all transmission projects after 2013. However, the revised policy in 2016 introduced a few conditions— such as projects of “strategic importance”, “technical upgradation” and catering to “urgent situation” — for exemption of inter-state transmission projects from TBCB.
Private companies in the sector have sought clarity on the definitions of “strategic importance”, “technical upgradation” and “urgent situation”, which prevent larger participation of the private sector in power transmission. Transmission projects of only Rs 64,000 crore has been awarded through the tariff-based competitive bidding since April 2011 compared to the total investments of Rs 3.4 lakh crore.