Government sets up panel to address stressed thermal power assets issues

Asserting that the stressed thermal power assets are a cause of concern for the country, the government on Sunday decided to set up a high-level empowered panel under Cabinet Secretary to resolve the issues and revive such assets.

The panel will also have representatives from the ministries of railways, finance, power, coal and the lenders having major exposure to the power sector.

"With a view to resolve the stress and revive such assets, the government has decided to set up a High Level Empowered Committee headed by Cabinet Secretary," the power ministry said in a statement.

The committee will look into the various issues with a view to resolve them and maximise the efficiency of investment "including changes required to be made in the fuel allocation policy, regulatory framework, mechanisms to facilitate sale of power...changes required in the provisioning norms/ Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), Asset Restructuring Company (ARC) Regulations and any other measures proposed for revival of stressed assets so as to avoid such investments becoming non performing asset (NPA)," it said.

Power Minister R K Singh had earlier said that Rural Electrification Corp was working on a scheme similar to what the SBI-led group of bankers came out with to takeover unsustainable debt of stressed power plants to avoid their liquidation.

The REC, which is under the administrative control of the power ministry, has drawn up a plan to turnaround assets of such stressed plants, the minister had said.

Under SAMADHAN (Scheme of Asset Management and Debt Change Structure, or Samadhan), the bankers' consortium shortlisted 11 power plants with an overall capacity of over 12 GW, which are either complete or nearing completion. This scheme is an effort to avoid liquidation of these plants at throwaway considerations.

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