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Gujarat ideal destination for investment in renewable energy and transmission : Anand Kumar, Chairman, Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC)

Mar 26, 2021

NEW DELHI, March 26, 2021- Mr Anand Kumar, Chairman, Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) today said that there is a huge opportunity for investment in renewable energy and transmission business in Gujarat.

Addressing the webinar on Ensuring Power Sector Viability & Reviving Investment Outlook organized by FICCI, Mr Kumar said, Gujarat has taken care of payment issues and always maintained a balanced position for utilities and investors.

He also mentioned that one of the vital responsibilities of the Regulators is to intervene to enforce contracts to safeguard investments in the sector. "Timely revision of tariffs is also very essential for ensuring the sound financial health of the Discoms and the Generators," said the Chairman GERC.

Mr Vipul Tuli, Chairman, FICCI Power Committee and CEO, South Asia - Sembcorp Industries highlighted the need to find a way to get the regulatory systems to act faster. "The transition that we are going through in the Indian power sector is a significant transition in terms of moving towards renewables, growth & new environmental norms" added Mr Tuli.

Mr Gorityala Veera Mahendar, Member (Economic & Commercial), Central Electricity Authority (CEA) said that Smart Contracts are going to be vital for the integration of REpower into the system. "Minimizing of entry and exit barriers for investments will be important for maintaining private sector interest in the sector," he said.

Emphasizing the need for cost-reflective tariffs, Ms Anjuli Chandra, Member, Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission said that reduction of cross-subsidy is one of the prime responsibilities of the Regulator. She further mentioned that Regulatory Commissions should allow legitimate expenses for technological advancements, however, Regulatory Assets are not sustainable in the long term, only banks make profit from these assets. She added that power purchase cost can be optimised by taking advantage of markets.

Mr Prabir Neogi, Mentor, FICCI Power Committee & Chief Adviser, Corporate Affairs, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group said that the regulatory intervention has a major role in making the distribution sector viable. Speaking further, he said that the effectiveness of the reform measures depends on the adaptability of the Government policies and their proper implementation.

The other eminent speakers who attended the webinar were Dr SK Chatterjee, Chief (Regulatory Affairs), Central Electricity Regulatory Commission; Mr Ashis Basu, CEO - Energy Corporate, GMR Energy; Mr Debasish Banerjee, Managing Director (Distribution), CESC; Mr Ajay Kapoor, Chief - Legal, Regulatory & Advocacy, Tata Power, Mr Sabyasachi Majumdar, Sr VP- Group, Corporate Ratings, ICRA and Shri P Suresh, Head- Projects & Infrastructure Finance Group, ICICI Bank.