Power Minister Piyush Goyal recently blamed the erstwhile Planning Commission, which has been succeeded by Niti Aayog, for its approach of setting targets that led to a situation where companies “invested irrationally” to add capacities in the sector.”The Planning Commission had inaccurately set targets of power generation which had led to the public and the private sector to invest in adding capacity,” Goyal told reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of MCCI here.
“The Planning Commission had never got its job rightly done. This is why companies in both public and private sector invested irrationally for adding generating capacity,” Goyal said.With the tenure of the 12th Five Year Plan ending in 2017 and being replaced by Niti Aayog, Goyal said under the new dispensation, the states would be empowered to set their own targets instead of the Centre.He also criticised the Planning Commission for laying emphasis on imports of coal, citing shortfall in domestic production.”For this, power plants had been set up which could run specifically on imported coal. But, now we are shifting the focus from coal imports to increased domestic production,” he said.
Goyals criticism of the Plan panel assumed significance in the wake of the utilities engaged thermal generation slowing down their coal offtake due to excess supply.Laying stress on renewable energy, Goyal, who also looks after coal, mines and new renewable energy portfolios, said: “It is the future. Renewable energy will always come at an affordable price as against thermal power and also add to Indias energy security.”By 2030, 40 per cent of Indias installed capacity will come from renewable sources, wind, solar and hydel. It will also help the country in reducing carbon dioxide emissions for which India is committed to.”He also urged the West Bengal government to join the Ujala efficient lighting scheme by which normal bulbs would be replaced by LEDs leading to cost savings.