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Aug 04, 2012, 10.59 AM IST
At a time when India is facing its worst power crisis ever, the country’s new Power Minister is firing from all guns to set things right. In an exclusive interview, Veerappa Moily says that the debt restructuring for power distribution companies will be done latest by the end of this month.
Moily added that all pending issues in the sector including those of gas & coal will be expedited on a ''war-footing".
Moily says, "There are also projects. You know where few things, few decisions taken at an appropriate time, maybe we can commission the projects. And then there are few things where you know if you give a clearance on certain things, can be done. I think we have to put everything on a fast track. I am very confident that we can do it provided, you have appropriate consultations with stake holders, which I am going to do on a war footing."
Below is the edited transcript of Moily's interview with CNBC-TV18.
Q: How soon will the decision be taken?
A: The question is that if the decision has to be taken, definitely we are organising that. The prime minister is very keen that we need to take decision on many of these things, particularly on the infrastructure.
Q: When will we take a decision on gas?
A: I feel that now is the time to take decisions. The time for discussion is over.
Q: Are you in favour of a hike in gas prices? The prime minister has said gas prices should be aligned to the market. The Oil Ministry does not have the same view. What is your view as far as the gas prices are concerned?
A: That will be sorted out. One individual minister cannot impose its views, but ultimately it will be a collective decision of the cabinet.
Q: Do you believe that the time has not come to align gas prices to market rates to solve the problem that we are faced with?
A: That is a matter, which I leave it to the Oil Ministry and the Prime Minister. It is essential that a decision needs to be taken so that gas is made available and exploration of gas is speeded up.
Q: Are you also going to take up on a war footing the restructuring package for discoms? Is it going to be one of your priorities, when are we likely to see it being taken up by the Cabinet?
A: This is very important aspect that is why the Cabinet note is under circulation. We will be in a position to take the matter very early to the Cabinet, so that we get a clearance.
All discoms should start functioning in a more viable way. There are states where power is produced still there are no takers because they can’t pay and bills are pending since four months, sometimes one year. It doesn't become viable to produce even power.
Q: By when do you expect the Cabinet to take up on the discom issue?
A: I think shortly, I don't think it will take longer. I am going to expedite it after talking to the Prime Minister.
Q: Are you getting a sense that perhaps over the next few weeks maybe?
A: Yes it should be.
Q: At the start of the monsoon session maybe we will actually see some decision being taken?
A: Not start of the monsoon session. Monsoon session will commence on the 8th of August, so it is too early to say that. In the course of the Parliament may be in this session itself before that or maybe in the middle of August or the end of the August we are going to clear it.
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