Power ministry for lower lending rates for projects with India-manufactured equipment: R K Singh
New Delhi: Power minister R K Singh said today that financing agencies Power Finance Corporation and Rural Electrification Corporation (PFC-REC) and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) should lend at a lower rate of interest to developers who are using India-manufactured equipment.
Singh said in a media interaction those who are using imported foreign power equipment may get financing at a higher rate of interest and that this is a proposal under the ministry’s consideration. The minister said the country will not allow import of any conventional power equipment from China and Pakistan.
“We had set up a committee under the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) as the power sector is vulnerable to cyber attacks, and that committee has given its report. So, what we are implementing is a part of that report,” Singh said. He added that any equipment imported from anywhere in the world will require thorough inspection and the ministry will not give permissions for any equipment from China and Pakistan.
In 2018-19, the minister said that the country imported Rs 71,000 crore conventional power equipment out of which Rs 21,000 crore were Chinese. In the renewable energy sector we imported equipment worth $2.9 billion, he said.
Power ministry in an order issued yesterday had said that the power supply system is a sensitive and critical infrastructure that supports not only our national defence, vital emergency services, defence installations and manufacturing establishments but also the entire economy and the day-today life of the citizens of the country.
Any danger or threat to power supply system can have catastrophic effects and has the potential to cripple the entire country and therefore all equipment, components, and parts imported for use in the power supply system and network shall be tested in the country to check for any kind of embedded malware,trojans and cyber threat, the ministry order said.