Power transmission projects: Bid value plunges from Rs 21,200 cr to Rs 9,800 cr

Despite the policy support to private-sector investments in power transmission, the projects awarded under the competitive bidding route, which are available to private companies as well, more than halved to Rs 9,800 crore in FY17 from Rs 21,200 crore in the previous year. The sluggishness is mainly because several state governments continue to follow the conventional way of awarding projects to state-run PGCIL on a nomination basis. Besides, the private firms also find it difficult to access funds as lenders are not enthusiastic about the sector; on its part, public-sector PFC is yet to start funding transmission projects in the private sector.

The investments are lagging even as the government’s 24×7-power-for-all scheme requires Rs 12 lakh crore to build and upgrade the country’s transmission and distribution systems.

Currently, only 6.7% of the transmission network is operated by private players, a stark contrast from the power generation sector where private firms contribute about 44% of the power generation capacity.

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