Now, State mobilises SWARA funds to purchase power

KL Report

SRINAGAR

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State Cabinet which met here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah decided to pay the increased costs of electricity purchases from the corpus that was created by raising water usage charges.

State government in 2010 started levying water charges from major water users including NHPC and PDC. It has become a substantial amount and the court has permitted the government to spend it.

As the power suppliers to the state government revised the tariffs for sale, it added to the costs. The cabinet approved the plan to service the additional costs of energy from this particular corpus.

The government had earlier stated that it will bear the additional costs of energy in case the suppliers revised the tariffs after the state started charging water user charges. Now it has decided to use the same money to off-set the costs and not pass the additional costs to the end-user in the state.

An official spokesman said the decision was aimed at affecting an amendment that recast section 185-A(2) of the J&K Water Resources (Regulation & Management) Act, 2010. The amendment will read like this: “The fund, so created, shall be operated upon by the Administrative Secretary, Finance Department, for the purpose of being utilized for the establishment of hydel projects, hydro-electric projects, multi purpose hydro-electric projects, buying back hydro-electric power projects, already established in the State, capital investment in the electric transmission and distribution network within the territory of the State, and the purchase of power by the State Government or its entities, with the prior approval of the Government.”

By another decision, the cabinet gave a tax waiver to the upcoming Pakal Dul project that a Joint Venture is implementing in Doda. The decision is aimed at helping the project to get economic viability.

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