India Lawmakers’ Panel Seeks Gas Subsidy to Revive Power Plants


India Lawmakers’ Panel Seeks Gas Subsidy to Revive Power Plants

India needs to resume subsidies on imported natural gas to help revive power plants that have been stranded for want of fuel and could turn into bad assets for banks, according to a lawmakers’ report.

The federal government should supply the gas at lower than market rates by utilizing funds from the so-called Power System Development Fund or from the environment tax on coal, the Standing Committee on Energy said in its report on Friday. Imported gas for the plants was subsidized for two years through March 2017.

Thirty one plants, comprising nearly 60 percent of India’s 24.9 gigawatts gas-power capacity, are struggling to repay their debt as fuel shortages affect operations, potentially pushing them into bankruptcy. Developers have invested about 650 billion rupees ($9.3 billion) in the stranded gas power plants, including bank loans of about 500 billion rupees, the panel estimated.

Several of these plants were built on expectations of a boom in supplies from Reliance Industries Ltd.’s KG-D6 oil and gas block. The block, Read More

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