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Growing power demand a challange: World Bank

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New Delhi: Despite making a remarkable progress in electricity distribution over the years, India still faces challenges to meet its growing demand for power and reliable supply still remains low in the country, the World Bank said in a report.

India has made enormo­us progress in expanding ho­u­sehold access to electrici­ty and reducing power sh­o­r­t­­­a­g­es over the last few years. In 2018 India achieved 100 per cent village electrification, the World Bank Regional Re­p­ort –— ‘In the Dark: How Much Do Power Sector Distortions Cost South Asia’ .

“Notwithstanding this remarkable progress, India still faces an enormous need to meet the growing demand for electricity.”

 

With growing population, rapid urbanisation and an ec­onomy that is expected to grow at an average of 7 per cent per year, demand for el­e­ctricity in India will almost triple between 2018 and 2040, the World Bank said, citing projection from the International Energy Agency.

Even as air pollution from fossil fuel-based power generation poses another daunting challenge, coal is India’s dominant source of energy, the report added.

“Despite ambitious prog­r­­ammes to promote renewa­b­­le energy development, In­d­­ia still uses coal to genera­te 75 per cent of its electrici­ty. Me­anwhile, industries pr­od­u­­ce their own ‘captive’ po­w­er, much of it from coal and diesel generators,” it said.

The report also recognised that shortly after independence in 1947, India began adopting legislative measures to develop the core electricity sector followed by reforms in later years, but despite of all these the state power utilities have struggled to improve their performance.

The inefficient state government owned power plants, under-investment in transmission, under-priced electricity, high losses of distribution utilities, groundwater depletion from cheap electricity are the key challenges to India’s power generation sector.

“World Bank study rev­i­e­w­ing the sector’s performan­ce finds that, despite much progress in implementing the law, many challenges rem­ain. They include ineffici­e­nt generation, high losses in transmission and distrib­u­­tion, widespread subsidies and most notably, sharp deterioration in the finances of state utilities,” said report.

With the total installed generation capacity more than doubling over the past decade from 154.7 gigawats (GW) in 2006-07 to 345.5 GW in 2017-18, India is now the world’s third largest producer of electricity, after China and the US.

Significant capacity addit­ions and lower than expected demands growths have helped reduce power shorta­g­es significantly, the report said. The central electricity authority predicts that India is likely to become a power surplus country in fiscal 2019, it said.

On renewable energy generation front, India has become one of the leading countries in the world recently with cumulative installed capacity from these sources reaching 70 GW in 2018, higher by about 50 per cent from four years ago.

The increase in solar and wind energy since 2014 has been particularly large. India now ranks 4th in the world in wind power–based capacity after China, the US and Germany and 6th in solar-based capacity.

“Through various initiati­v­es and incentive programs, the government of India pl­a­ns to add 227 GW of renewa­b­le energy capacity by the end of 2022,” said the World Bank report. As per 2018 global competitiveness repo­rt, India ranks at 80th positi­on among 137 economies in the reliability of its electricity supply, the report added.


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MPC to meet six times during 2019-20: RBI

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Mumbai: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which decides on key interest rates, will meet six times during the next financial year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.

The first meeting of the six-member MPC to decide on the first bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2019-20 will be held from April 2 to 4.

The policy will be announced on April 4. Headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, the committee also includes two representatives from the central bank and three external members.

 

The external members are Indian Statistical Institute professor Chetan Ghate, Delhi School of Economics Director Pami Dua and Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad professor Ravindra H Dholakia.

According to the schedule provided by the RBI, the second meeting of the MPC in the next fiscal will be held on June 3, 4 and 6; third meeting (August 5-7); fourth meeting (October 1, 3 and 4); fifth meeting (December 3-5) and sixth meeting (February 4-6, 2020).

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SBI raises Rs 1,251 crore by issuing Basel III-compliant bonds

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New Delhi: The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) said it has raised Rs 1,251.30 crore by issuing Basel III-compliant bonds.

“The Committee of Directors for Capital Raising at its meeting held today on 22 March 2019 deliberated and accorded approval to allot 12,513 non-convertible, taxable, perpetual, subordinated, unsecured Basel lll-compliant additional tier-I bonds, for inclusion in additional tier-I capital of the bank…aggregating to Rs 1,251.30 crore,” SBI said in a regulatory filing.

The bonds with a face value of Rs 10 lakh each bears a coupon rate of 9.45 per cent per anum payable annually with call option after 5 years or any anniversary date thereafter, it said. The bonds were subscribed on Friday, it added.

 

State Bank of India (SBI) also said the central board of the bank at its meeting held has accorded its approval for extension of validity period for raising equity capital of up to Rs 20,000 crore from market by way of follow-on public offer, qualified institutional placement, preferential allotment, rights issue or any other mode or a combination of these till March 31, 2020.

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Sebi fines 4 entities Rs 27 lakh for fraudulent trading in BSE stock options

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New Delhi: Markets regulator Sebi imposed a total penalty of Rs 27 lakh on four entities for indulging in fraudulent trade in illiquid stock options segment of BSE.

Umapati Oil Mill and Ginning Factory, Yudhbir Chhibbar, Kasturbhai Mayabhai Pvt Ltd and Vimladevi Shyamsunder Khetan are the four entities, according to Sebi’s separate orders.

fter observing a large-scale reversal of trades in the BSE’s illiquid stock options segment, Sebi conducted a probe from April 2014 to September 2015.

 

Following the probe, the regulator found that the trades executed by the entities were not genuine as they were reversed within few seconds with same counter parties with significant difference in price, resulting in profit to the entities.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said it was a deliberate attempt to deal in such a fashion and not a mere coincidence.

The trades executed by the entities were not genuine and created an appearance of artificial trading volumes, thereby violating PFUTP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) regulations, Sebi noted.

Accordingly, a fine of Rs 8.7 lakh and Rs 8.4 lakh were imposed on Yudhbir Chhibbar and Vimladevi, respectively while a penalty of Rs 5 lakh each was levied on Umapati Oil Mill and Kasturbhai Mayabhai Pvt Ltd, totalling Rs 27.1 lakh.

In a separate order, Sebi imposed a total fine of Rs 6 lakh on four promoters of Artech Power Products for delayed disclosures to exchanges regarding their change in the shareholding in the company.

Ranjith Vijayan, I V Vijayan, Repsy Vijayan and Resmi Vijayan are the four promoters, according to Sebi’s order.

The promoters have deprived the vital information to the public by non-disclosure /delayed disclosure as mandated by the Takeover Regulations, Sebi noted.

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