No time-frame fixed for making vital company functional
JAMMU, June 1: Delay on the part of Government in filling the post of Administrative Secretary of Science and Technology Department is creating impediments in early establishment of first ever Jammu and Kashmir Renewable Energy Corpor-ation, which would catalyze the development of renewable energy resources. Moreover, Rs 50 crore worth Solar Fund announced by former Finance Minister for availing Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Scheme of the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has yet not been created.
The announcement regarding setting up of J&K Renewable Energy Corporation was made by the then Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu in the month of January this year so as to catalyze the development of renewable energy resources. The reason behind this announcement was that Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA), the State Nodal Agency mandated with development of small hydel, solar, wind and other renewable projects, is not oriented on commercial lines and it can also not raise debt without which the development of projects is impossible, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
Accordingly, a proposal vis-à-vis Renewable Energy Corporation was prepared and placed before the State Cabinet, which on April 24 this year accorded the approval while mentioning that the Corporation will be a private limited company wholly owned by the State Government with the authorized share capital of Rs 1 crore fully paid up and subscribed by the State Government.
It was specifically mentioned in the Cabinet decision that Administrative Secretary of the Science and Technology Department shall take all necessary steps for creation and setting up of Renewable Energy Corporation.
“Though an exercise relating to documentation has been conducted by the Science and Technology Department yet no further steps like registration of company with the Registrar of Companies have been initiated as Administrative Secretary Science and Technology Department has to play a vital role in the entire exercise but the post is lying vacant during the past over one month”, sources said, “the Administrative Secretary being in vital position of the Corporation has to sign important documents vis-à-vis Corporation and in the absence of any officer on the post the process is getting delayed”, sources said.
Actually, post of Administrative Secretary of Science and Technology Department was never given any serious attention by the Government and this can be gauged from the adhoc arrangement during the past several months, sources said while disclosing that in the month of January this year Administrative Secretary of PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control M Raju was given the additional charge of the post of Science and Technology Department.
However, within next few days the additional charge of the post of Administrative Secretary Science and Technology Department was given to the then Labour Commissioner Dr Abdul Rashid relieving the PHE Secretary of the additional charge. At the time of Cabinet decision regarding creation of J&K Renewable Energy Corporation Dr Abdul Rashid was relieved of the additional charge of the post of Administrative Secretary Science and Technology and since then the post is lying vacant.
It is pertinent to mention here that present environment in the country is highly conducive for development of renewable energy resources and various kinds of subsidies and incentives are available under Central sector. Besides enhancing business and administrative credibility, the Corporation would more importantly result in easier access to capital which is very essential for development of infrastructure projects.
Moreover, the Government has yet not set-up Rs 50 crore worth Solar Fund which was announced by former Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu for availing Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Scheme of the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
This scheme is aimed at incentivizing installation of solar panels on rooftops to harness solar radiation and convert it into electrical energy. Under this scheme, huge subsidy is given by the Union Government. The announcement regarding Solar Fund was aimed at availing this scheme for installation of solar PV panels on Government buildings in a systematic manner.
When contacted, an officer of Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency confirmed that Renewable Energy Corporation has yet not been registered with Registrar of Companies for want of Administrative Secretary of Science and Technology Department.
“It is also a fact that Solar Fund has not been established. “The process is on and hopefully within next few months the entire exercise will be taken to logical conclusion”, he added.