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Positive steps, feels Sanjiv Goenka

Indrani Dutta
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Sanjiv Goenka
Sanjiv Goenka

Sanjiv Goenka, Vice-Chairman, R.P.-Sanjiv Goenka Group, said that it was good to see that the government had recognised power as a potential tool for stimulating the economy.

“He has announced a series of measures such as extension of the sunset clause and duty relief on import of capital goods for power plant. This will bring relief to our group which has under implementation 1,250 MW of thermal power capacity across a few states. These are positive steps for the sector with long-term benefits,” he said.

The group, which has CESC as its flagship company, is now present in Maharashtra, Greater Noida, besides West Bengal. It is implementing projects in Odisha and Jharkhand.

On the proposal to allow ECB to part-finance the rupee debt of existing power projects, Mr. Goenka said that this did open up other finance avenues. He would await the fine print before making further comments.

On the duty relief on steam coal, he said that CESC sourced coal from Coal India and from its captive mines and was not a major importer. Nevertheless, he said he would welcome the availability of such options.

Coal users' body upset

Coal-consuming industries are upset that the budget has no announcement on the institution of a coal regulator. The entire gamut of issues related to quality and pricing will remain. The Coal Consumers Association of India, it may be recalled, protested against the increase in coal price following the switchover to a new form of pricing by Coal India. The protest forced a partial roll back in coal prices.

The association also notes that no road map is laid out for increasing coal production.

The silverline, however, is that the coal-starved industries will have a fresh breather with the exemption in import duties.

It feels the waiver on customs duty on mining equipment should have been available for the next fiscal also.

It takes almost a year to procure such heavy equipment after placing orders, so the exemption would be fruitful, they say.

Telecom sector misses infrastructure tag

Amidst the upbeat mood among players in the infrastructure sector, the telecom sector feels somewhat left behind as it has not been granted an infrastructure status. Hemant Joshi, Partner Deloitte Haskins & Sells, said that concessions accruing to the power and port sector projects had not been given to the telecom sector although it was a great enabler in increasing GDP growth rate.

However, he did see some positives for the sector in the budget mainly the introduction of a viability gap funding for telecom towers .

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