THE Union Government is in a tearing hurry to change the face of the crisis-ridden power sector. And hence the rash of policy pronouncements meant to give a free hand to states in clearing power projects to facilitate private sector participation in generation, transmission and distribution.
A great scheme ostensibly. But one that is not backed by solid groundwork and, worse, has no institutional framework. Result: the far-reaching policy statements have only added to the tangle of crossed wires and feeling of uncertainty among independent private power producers.
Private power companies are not enthused about the sweeping policy initiatives, energy experts are critical about the hasty manner of introducing reforms, and even the Central bureaucracy is sceptical about the Centres proposed short-term panacea for power shortages.
The main thrust of the new proposals is to give states the power to clear competitively bid projects of all sizes and do away with the mandatory Central Electricity Authority (CEA) techno-economic clearance. On August 20, the Power...