Editorial- December 2018

Power sector financial stats is thunderous. Gross loans and advances given to power sector as on June 2017, stood at Rs 559,025 crore, out of which Rs 37,941 has become NPA. Out of a total 40,130 MW stressed power assets, 24,405 MW capacity has been commissioned while the rest is at construction stage. Out of the commissioned projects, 16,129 MW has PPA, while 8,276 MW does not have PPA. All these findings were reported by the parliamentary standing committee report on power on ‘Stressed/Non-performing Assets in Electricity Sector.’ It was tabled before the Parliament on Mar 7, 2018 and is the latest report available. The committee only dealt with the coal based thermal power plants. It did not consider the stress in any gas or hydro based power plants.

Private power plants are likely to move to the bankruptcy court if lenders are unable to close resolution proceedings. Lenders are offering stressed assets to NTPC for takeover and many power plants have been put up for sale by them.

In such a situation, the power ministry has demanded that a bidding similar to the forward e-auction for non-power coal blocks be done for stressed power assets in the insolvency court. The forward auction bidding will be more transparent, the bidders can see highest bids on screen and revise their bids. Presently, auction in the National Company Law Tribunal is carried out in sealed envelopes.

In our cover story we bring you the complete data matrix of the asset situation in the power sector: what is on sale under IBC, what is under the resolution process, the acquisitions outside the IBC process, which are the companies in fray for bidding and which are under the block, the legal tangles, present and future developments. The story is an invaluable compendium of information on this subject.

Meanwhile, the union government has invited proposals from interested air operators for the international version of its Udan scheme. Assam has responded enthusiastically and AAI on behalf of ministry of civil aviation and Assam government has invited bids for six international destinations operating to and from Guwahati. In the domestic sector, Phase-3 of RCS under UDAN, the MoCA has invited proposals for air routes that include 23 tourist destinations. Plus many more top developments. Read on.