India needs to woo investors for $200 bn investment in power sector

India’s power sector needs an investment of over $200 bn to bridge the widening gap between demand and supply, Federal Power Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Wednesday. At a meeting jointly organised by the chamber body FICCI and state-owned Power Grid Corporation with the representatives of foreign missions in India, the minister said there existed lots of opportunity for investors in the power sectors.

In order to meet the objectives and facilitate an interface between international investors and domestic industry, the Ministry of Power is organising a series of five international business conferences in the coming months.

Prabhu said the government was working towards putting in place a coherent policy that would satisfy both the investors and the power sector in India. Definitive steps have already been taken to accelerate power sector reforms, he said, adding State Electricity Boards’ [SEB] dues to the tune of $10 bn are being securitised by way of bonds issued by the state governments to help in cleaning their balance sheet.

He said that a detailed district by district survey is being conducted to outline problems at distribution level. “This will help in knowing the quantum of investments required for distribution sector and the benefits that would accrue from these investments,” Prabhu said adding each distribution feeder is proposed to be converted into a profit centre so that responsibility and accountability is infused into the system.

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