The taskforce on a national tariff policy on power headed by the Planning Commission member N K Singh will be submitting its recommendations in the next four months.
"The taskforce had been constituted around two months back and was given a mandate to submit its report in six months," Union Minister for Power Anant Geete said.
He was speaking to newsmen on the sidelines of a national seminar on captive power generation organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
The passage of the Electricity Bill 2003 has opened up new opportunities such as selling power directly to consumers. It will also introduce open access for transmission which means that a private power producer can use a state electricity board's transmission line to sell power to third parties for a fee. All this has necessitated the formulation of a national tariff policy.
Geete also stressed the need for a close coordination between the Centre, state, regulators, utilities and industry. In an era of globalisation, he said, availability of power is of utmost importance for domestic industry to be competitive.
F A Vandrevala, managing director of Tata Power and chairman of the western region of the CII, said that India has a huge power market with enough room for both utilities and captive power projects (CPPs).
"It, however, needs to be emphasised that choice must be made on a rational criteria. CPPs should preferably be used to harness their unique benefits such as high thermal efficiencies or where power quality provided utilities does not meet the industrial process requirements," Vandrevala said.
Vandrevala also said that the rules and regulation pertaining to the Electricity Bill 2003 needed to be put in place fast. Maharashtra energy secretary Jayant Kawale released a book on captive power generation brought out by Mitcon Consultancy Services.
MSEB plea on DPC heard
The state power regulator, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, heard a plea by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board seeking permission to buy power from the Dabhol Power Company.
The board has also asked it to fix the tariff. Meanwhile, Union Power Minister Anant Geete told newsmen that the power ministry would help in whatever way it can for restarting the Dabhol unit.