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J&K govt seeks public comments on draft State Hydroelectric Policy

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) is in the process of formulating a comprehensive policy to promote hydropower generation in state as an attractive economic enterprise.

According to Shah Faesal, Managing Director, JKSPDC, the proposed Hydroelectric Policy envisages promoting hydropower as an attractive economic enterprise and facilitate private sector investment.

He said the policy is aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs and newcomers in the potential energy sector.

“In the proposed policy, the pre-qualification process has been made simpler, single-window clearance system with PSGA time-frame has been introduced and wide range of incentives offered for the developers,” he said adding that under it self-identified projects can also be allotted.

The other highlights of the policy include rationalisation of bid variables with defined project timeliness and laying stress on environmental sustainability of the projects.

Among the incentives proposed for the developers, Faesal, said, percentage of free power has been reduced to 10 per cent.

“To facilitate financial viability of hydropower projects and make the projects investor-friendly, exemption on free power for first 10 years after COD proposed,” he said.

In case the developer completes and commissions the project before the scheduled date as agreed in LoA then as an incentive, the differential period of generation is proposed to be exempted from free power, he added.

Further, he said, for new comers, entrepreneurs, venturing in hydropower projects of up to 25 MW capacity, various relaxations in qualifications criteria has been provided.

“Extra points have been proposed in the bid process for developers who are state subjects or are majority stakeholders in a Joint Venture,” he said, adding the policy also provides for assured power purchase agreements and wider choices to developers to sell power within or outside the state.

Power evacuation arrangement has to be shared between developer and the state with priority to developer for dispatch into the grid.

“Besides, the construction material, machinery and equipment purchased for installation of hydro plants is proposed to be exempted from payment of Entry Tax and from payment of VAT subject to transition in GST regime,” he said.

Other tax exemptions which are given to the industries as per the J&K Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2016 are proposed to be applicable to the such power projects in the state which will be registered as an industrial unit.

He said the projects awarded under the new policy are proposed to be exempted from the payment of water usage charges levied under the “J&K Water Resources Regulation & Management Act.”

He said the JKSPDC has already notified the draft J&K State Hydroelectric Projects Development Policy 2017 for the public perusal seeking their suggestions and views. (Agencies)

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