Bhubaneswar: Odisha demanded that the interest rates on the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electricity Corporation (REC) funds be slashed in view of the Pandemic situation.

The Odisha energy minister, Dibya Shankar Mishra, raised this issue at the Power Ministers’ conference held through VC on Friday under the chairmanship of union power minister RK Singh. Various agendas such as liquidity infusion for stressed power sector, reform linked distribution scheme, electricity Act amendment, solar roof top schemes, Renewable Power Obligation of States were discussed.

Participating in the discussion on the liquidity infusion to power Discoms to overcome the impact of the Covid- 19 pandemic,Odisha energy minister Mishra demanded before the Centre to reduce the interest rate of the liquidity infusion funding by REC and PFC from 9.5% to 6% and to extend the said assistance for the revenue shortfall due to less demand of power in 2020-21. The benefit of the reform based distribution scheme applicable for the states having done PPP in their states for better services to the consumers. He emphasized that the proposed scheme should be such that the far long neglected tribal children get the facility similar to urban child to access the education, telemedicine and information. This can be achieved if stable and quality power reach to that far and difficult places.
He submitted that the consumption / demand from the commercial and Industrial consumers continues to be very low and about 25% lower than the expected level, therefore the Discoms is not able to schedule the power of central Gencos NTPC . He requested to provide the rebate of the fixed charges component of unscheduled power for full year 2020-21 as the impact will continue.
Further Mishra demanded that while finalizing the amendment of electricity Act 2003 as proposed by the Centre, the concurrent powers under the federal structure of the governance should be ensured.

All hydro generation irrespective of their commercial operation date should be included in the Renewable power Obligation (RPO). Instead of RPO targets source wise, overall RPO target can be fixed and state can choose the source wise as per their availability of source.
The minister expressed thanks the Centre for the sanction of the solarisation of the Konark city with 50: 50 contribution of State and Center. He requested to take Konark solarisation as the flagship initiative to give message to entire country.
The suggestion of Mishra for acceleration and simplified environmental clearance of the hydro projects was highly appreciated by the Union minister and assured to take up with union environment minister Prakash Javedkarjee.