BUDGET 2020: Power sector reforms on anvil

Here are the reactions to the 2020 Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, holding a folder containing the Union Budget documents, with her deputy Anurag Thakur and other officials. Photo: PIB

“The government’s decision to incentivise farmers to go solar and allowing farmers with barren land can set up solar power units will further help them to get a living out of it,” shared Ashish Khanna, MD & CEO, Tata Power Solar and President, Tata Power (Renewables).

“On the infrastructure front, one of the notable  announcements was to bring the power sector in line with manufacturing companies and provide a concessional tax rate of 15 Per cent on the new domestic generation companies,” said Hemant Kanoria, Chairman, Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd.

“The focus on ensuring ‘smart metering’ replacing  conventional energy meters by prepaid smart meters in the states and UTs over the next 3 years will prove to be a positive step in addressing the financial stress of DISCOMs,” shared Anil Chaudhry, Zone President & MD, Schneider Electric India.

“While there was pressure to move away from fiscal responsibility, the government has chosen to walk a middle path allowing for an acceptable increase in fiscal deficit while putting some extra money in the hands of tax payers,” says Sumant Sinha, CMD, ReNew Power.

“Allocation towards power and renewable energy and transport infrastructure, upgradation of stations and developing solar in railways, setting up of 100 new airports, 5 new smart cities, and linking 1 lakh gram panchayats with BharatNet augurs well for our businesses,” says Vimal Kejriwal, MD & CEO, KEC International.

“The emphatic focus on gas and renewable energy in Budget 2020 will enable shift towards cleaner energy and, also deliver on our commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement,” shared Rajiv Srivastava, MD & CEO, Indian Energy Exchange (IEX).

“The announcement made by FM to replaceenergy meters with pre-paid smart meters will further help in complete digitisation of the whole system and will help in bring about more financially healthier utilities,” said Gautam Seth, Joint Managing Director, HPL & Electric Power Ltd.

“We foresee the sustained incentives by the government to promote local manufacturing will fulfil local demand and also enable India to become an export hub for electronics,” shares Jitendra Chaddah, Chairman, India Electronics and  Semiconductor Association (IESA).

“Proposal to expand the gas grid from 16,000 km to 27,000 km is a significant announcement. This will definitely be a huge opportunity for players in the unconventional hydrocarbon sectors whose assets are mostly classified as stranded because of lack of evacuation infrastructure,”says Pankaj Kalra, CFO & Head-Strategy, Essar Exploration & Production. 

“We welcome the announcement on concessional corporate task rate of 15 per cent to generations sector as this can attract greater investments in renewable energy sector in India,” said Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA).

“We believe that the Budget 2020 has delivered on the promise of long-term corrective action for the power sector in the country and is expected to revitalise the sector once again,” shares Prabhajit Sarkar, MD & CEO, Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL).

“Our request to the government to give preferential treatment to Indian companies having 100 per cent local equity over their Chinese counterparts,” says Sunil Patwari, CEO, Rashmi Rare Earth Ltd.