State-owned energy firms project a mere 3% rise in FY14 capex

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 03, 2013 21:33 hrs

Despite the governments efforts to get its companies to invest more, the 25-odd energy public sector undertakings (PSUs) have projected a dismal 2.9 per cent growth in their Plan investment next financial year. This comes against the backdrop of the capital expenditure of these companies rising a mere 1.7 per cent this year, though the projection at the beginning of the year was of six per cent growth.

The energy PSUs, which together with other government-owned firms account for over six per cent of Indias gross domestic product, have pegged their combined internal resource mobilisation for investment during 2013-14 at Rs 1.40 lakh crore, as against Rs 1.35 lakh crore expected this year. Worse, investment plans of most of these firms are either seen coming down or remaining flat next year.

The only firm that bucks the trend is the domestic miner Coal India Ltd (CIL), which has been blamed for coal shortages. It has projected a whopping 21 per cent jump in capital expenditure from Rs 4,100 crore this year to Rs 5,000 crore in 2013-14. The increase is mainly on account of new mines getting green clearances from the environment ministry. However, proposals for 142 of CILs projects are still pending with the ministry.

According to the governments expenditure budget, the investment of NTPC, the countrys largest power generator, would come down to Rs 20,200 crore in 2013-14 from Rs 20,995 crore expected this year. The company has been grappling with a slowdown in investment, as subdued coal supply, coupled with administrative hurdles and delayed clearances, have hit its project execution schedules. The company had recently told Business Standard it had curtailed its capital expenditure plan of over Rs 2 lakh crore by Rs 40,000 crore for the current Plan period because 11 of its projects had been stalled due to fuel shortage.

Similarly, the countrys largest power transmission utility, Powergrid Corporation of India, has not been expecting any incremental investment next financial year. It has projected investing Rs 20,000 crore from internal resources the same as this years level according to the revised estimate (RE) of 2012-13. For hydro power generator NHPC, too, investment is seen coming down to Rs 2,453 crore in 2013-14 from Rs 2,697 crore in 2012-13 (RE).

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