Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday endorsed the idea of providing electricity connection to consumers other than property owners like tenants and said it does not create any right over ownership. “Electricity connection does not prove the ownership of the property. Some states are afraid that providing power connections would lead to claims over properties,” Goyal told reporters here after a press conference on this Austria and UK visit at FICCI.
He further said, “The Uttar Pradesh government is working on norms for providing electricity connection to all (including tenants) in way that it does not create ownership of the power customer. It is already there in Maharashtra. We cannot deprive of anybody from electricity supply.”
About the RBI’s observation that issuance of bonds under UDAY scheme affecting state finances, he said, “I wish the RBI will apply little more logic to what they have said to them because ultimately it was the debt of the state only.”
The UDAY scheme was launched in November 2015 for reviving the debt stressed state power distribution utilities. Under the scheme, state had to repay 75 per cent of the debt by issuing bonds.
Elaborating further the minister said, “It was state discom debt which is taken over by the state. It was always a fact that it was state debt. I have made de facto into de jure. I have made it legally a state debt. I think we have done a good job and RBI will understand what we have done.”
About the idea of taking over of Coal India Provident Fund merger with the Employees Provident Fund Organisation, he said, “We don’t do anything which is not in the interest of workers. Coal mines worker PF body is very small and does not have the required skill to get the best returns on investments.”
He explained, “The EPFO looks after lakhs of crore workers fund. The have got skill sets and expertise to handle it. We (in Coal India) subcontract that to the lowest bidder. I don’t think that it is very efficient way to do it so better let the efficient people do the whole job.”
Talking about the result of the interaction in Austria, he said it has resulted in a delegation coming from Austria to India in June.
The minister expressed hope that they would invest and work in India to aid government’s Make in India programme.
The minister lauded London Stock Exchange (LSE) as they demonstrated their commitment to India by advancing their launch of international securities market exchange.
India raised 1.1 billion dollar through NTPC’s masala bond at 7.25 per cent interest rate at the LSE.
The minister had floated the NTPC bonds on the LSE last week.