Mar 05, 2013, 12.06 PM | Source: CNBC-TV18

Budget Reactions: Duty hikes to up cost by 3-4 paise/unit, says JSW Energy

With the hike in basic custom and countervailing duty (CVD) on steam coal NK Jain, vice chairman, JSW Energy tells CNBC-TV18 that the cost of power generation will rise by nearly 3-4 paise/unit.

With the hike in basic custom and countervailing duty (CVD) on steam coal NK Jain, vice chairman, JSW Energy tells CNBC-TV18 that the cost of power generation will rise by nearly 3-4 paise/unit.

"We were importing coal on 0-1% duty earlier and currently we are paying two percent customs duty and CVD each," he added.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram in his Budget speech announced an increase in the basic customs duty on steam coal from present nil to two percent and CVD from one percent to two percent.

A reduction in the basic customs duty on bituminous coal from five percent to two percent and CVD from six percent to two percent was also announced.

The company is looking to pass on this rise in cost to consumers.

Below is the edited transcript of NK Jain’s interview with CNBC-TV18

Q: One of the key announcements you were looking at in the Budget was clarity on duties on both bituminous coal and steam coal. The final announcement looks rationalized but a bit negative for your company. How do you come out of it?

A: Up till now JSW Energy was importing coal on 0+1 percent duty and now the entire coal has come at 2+2 percent duty. So it is a negative for the whole power sector. The trouble with power sector is that as far as the other industries are concerned, while Countervailing Duty (CVD) is modvatable for power sector there is no Modvat.

For others it is only 2 percent and for power sector it is 4 percent duty. The cost of generation will go up. We will be affected to the extent of the merchant power that we are selling, because any other than merchant would be a pass-through.

Q: Could you elaborate on the quantum of impact as well by how much will the generation cost go up?

A: It would be about 3-4 paise per unit on the merchant power. We are not selling entire power as merchant sell. We have 3,140 MW capacity and out which 1,080 MW capacity at Rajasthan is fully pass-through.

We are not importing coal over there, so there is no tax whatsoever. Similarly at Ratnagiri we have four units of 300 MW each out of which 600 MW that is two units are on Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) wherein we will not be affected.

So 600 MW in Ratnagiri and 860 MW where the entire capacity is on a merchant basis will be affected. The effect would be about 3-4 paise per unit. We have requested our marketing chief to workout whether it is possible to pass on this to the customers and we feel it should be possible because it is 3-4 paise not much.

Q: There was not any major announcement which came in for the power sector, apart from saying the private-public partnership (PPP) framework with Coal India to boost coal volume, nothing was heard on the SEB restructuring, the coal price pooling, even the subset clause was just extended by one year versus industry expectations of a five-year increase, were you a tad disappointed by the Budget?

A: We have been asking for a couple of things. One is the health of the distribution companies (discoms), which is very bad. In order to improve the health of discoms, couple of things needs to be done; one is that the entire debt of discoms must be restructured as early as possible.
Secondly, the state governments must come forward and say that whatever concessional tariff discoms are giving to the customers, they must make good of it.

Thirdly, they should go on increasing the prices of the power every year so that they do not continue to make losses. The FM has said that discoms health will improve and guidelines are available. He has requested the state governments to come forward and do it, but we do not know when this would happen.

JSW Energy stock price

On November 24, 2015, JSW Energy closed at Rs 85.50, down Rs 2.15, or 2.45 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 126.40 and the 52-week low was Rs 59.50.

The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 5.60 per share as per the quarter ended September 2015. The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 15.27. The latest book value of the company is Rs 46.30 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 1.85.

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