Minister of State for Power (Independent Charge) Jyotirditya Scindia on Tuesday said the government was making efforts to fast-track nearly 95 hydro power projects with a capacity of 40,000 MW to give a big push to the power sector.

The projects are awaiting clearances from different authorities, including Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Central Water Commission (CWC) and Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). “We are fast-tracking each and every one of those projects. I am planning to approach the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) to look at infrastructure issues, on a basin-wise basis, to push the hydro projects forward,” he told reporters here on the sidelines of the State Power Ministers conference.

He also hinted that the Power Ministry planned to seek Cabinet approval to tweak the debt recast plan for state electricity boards to accommodate fresh liabilities of some units, including those in Jharkhand and Bihar. “No regulation or rationale of the scheme has been changed,” he said. The government, last year, approved the debt restructuring of state electricity boards to help turn them around from near bankruptcy. As per the plan, state governments will take over 50 per cent of their outstanding short-term liabilities up to March 31, 2012.

The Power Ministry proposed to allow the Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka state electricity boards to include their outstanding liabilities of the past three to six months in the scheme, he added. “It is a very small tweaking which I will take to the Cabinet in the next two weeks and then the states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Jharkhand will be part of the financial restructuring package. These states will be allowed a window under the FRP to meet the mandatory conditions,” he added.

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