June 10, 2020 3:42:32 am
With the electricity utilities facing a cash flow issue due to the nationwide lockdown, the Maharashtra cabinet on Tuesday gave its approval for the government to be the guarantor for Rs 20,000 crore borrowing by the state-run utilities.
Sources said the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MSEDCL) has been experiencing nearly 30 per cent reduction in daily power consumption and monthly shortfall of Rs 3,500 crore in collection since April following the nationwide lockdown. The electricity utilities need the loan to tackle the power purchase cost, salaries, operations and maintenance and debt servicing, said officials.
“The industrial and commercial establishments are shut in the state due to the Covid-19 situation and nationwide lockdown. Though the household power consumption has increased with people being at homes, there has been a decrease in the demand from industrial users. The average daily power consumption has reduced to 16,000 megawatt from 23,000 megawatt,” said an official statement from the Chief Minister’s Office.
Energy Minister Nitin Raut said with shortfall in monthly collection, funds will be raised from National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, Power Finance Corporation Limited\or nationalized banks and financial institutions.
“The empowered committee headed by the chief secretary will fix the terms and conditions for the bank guarantee for the loan,” said Raut.
The state cabinet also took a decision to allot 54.40 hectare land at Shiroda Velagar village in Sindhudurg district on lease to Taj Group’s Indian Hotels Company to build a five-star resort. Sources said that the land, which has been acquired by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, has been given on lease for 90 years, said sources.
In another decision, the cabinet gave approval to renaming the Environment Department, led by Minister Aaditya Thackeray, to Environment and Climate Change department.
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