Sunday, July 13, 2014

Budget-2014-15: Power Sector
Photo: The World Bank
In the Union Budget 2014-15 presented on 10 July 2014, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed Rs.200 crore for power reforms.

Jaitley also proposed a ten-year tax holiday to the power sector undertakings, which begin generation, distribution and transmission of power by 31 March 2017.

Further, the Finance Minister has proposed to allocate an initial sum of Rs.100 crore for preparatory work for a new scheme "Ultra-Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology" to promote cleaner and more efficient thermal power.

Jaitley also announced comprehensive measures for enhancing domestic coal production with a stringent mechanism for quality control and environmental protection. Measures will be initiated to provide adequate quantity of coal to power plants which are already commissioned or would be commissioned by March 2015 to unlock dead investments.

To further improve rural life, the government will launch the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana to augment power supply at a cost of Rs.500 crore.

To promote wind energy, Jaitley proposed to reduce the basic customs duty from 10% to 5% on forged steel rings used in the manufacture of bearings of wind operated electricity generators. Also, he proposed to exempt the SAD of 4% on parts and raw materials required for the manufacture of wind operated generators. Further, he proposed to prescribe a concessional basic customs duty of 5% on machinery and equipment required for setting up of compressed biogas plants (Bio-CNG).

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