Weekly Power Sector Round up: 15th February 2020

Power Tribunal proposed for payment disputes

The Govt. has proposed setting up an electricity tribunal to resolve disputes regarding payments between state DISCOMs and power generation companies in a timely manner while maintaining the powers of the existing appellate tribunal and electricity regulators.

This new proposed tribunal will have original jurisdiction meaning it will be able to take up original petitions unlike the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (Aptel) which is only able to take up disputes referred to it by courts or regulators.

The Govt. proposes to amend the Electricity Act, 2003 to provide a dedicated time-bound dispute resolution mechanism and impose stricter penalties to protect the sanctity of all power contracts.

Effective custom duty on Solar PV cells reduced back to zero by MNRE

A customs duty of 20% on Solar PV cells and modules was announced as part of the Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister. However, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has clarified that the effective custom duty would be zero.

The budget has split the duties into two categories – unassembled solar cells & solar cells assembled into modules or panels. Both categories incur a duty of 20%, however this allows the Govt to levy separate duties in the future.