Analysis of data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry show that with Rs 83,236 crore worth of investment proposals, the state accounts for 25% of the total value of such proposals in India. The total for the country is Rs 3.38 lakh crore.
But the state accounts for only 6% of the total number of projects proposed. In the nine months, India received 1,486 proposals and Karnataka only 92, which indicates that a majority of the proposed projects are big.
The proposals include a Rs 240-crore project by JSW Solar, a Rs 100-crore project by MK Agrotech, multiple proposals from the Maini Group, spread across aerospace, space and auto, a 3.6 lakh tonne capacity steel plant by SK Steel, and cement projects by Ultratech and Adani Cement.
Gujarat, with 347 projects, has four times the number of proposals that Karnataka does, and Maharashtra, with 275 projects, has three times more. Yet, in terms of value, the 347 projects in Gujarat are worth only Rs 59,089 crore, and the 275 projects in Maharashtra are worth Rs 46,428 crore.
In the past two months, Karnataka has received 23 proposals spread across sectors like aerospace, space, iron and steel, pharmaceuticals, automobile, textile, IT and renewable energy. The proposals are spread across districts: Bengaluru, Tumakuru, Bagalkot, Bidar, Kalaburgi, Ballari, Belagavi, Kolar, Dakshina Kannada and Koppal.
TOI had reported last month that the bulk of Karnataka’s proposals came in February and March, prior to the elections. There was a steep drop in the next few months, but then again there’s been some pickup in August and September.
Gaurav Gupta, principal secretary in the state industry & commerce department, said Karnataka has a good pool of human and natural resources and an industry-friendly policy. “While it is good that we have the numbers, our focus and priority is to convert as many of these proposals into projects on ground. There is a lot of hand-holding work happening on this front, and you will soon see results,” he said.
Dip From Last Yr
The figure for 2018 is however lower than that last year. In the first three quarters of 2017, Karnataka had attracted Rs 1.47 lakh crore. Industries minister KJ George noted that the state was in the midst of elections during the first three months of this financial year (April-June) and there was not much happening in the government then. “Now, the focus is clear and we have a host of new policies like the e-vehicles policy and so on that will further attract investments,” he said.
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has raised the ceiling tariff for auctions for the 10 gigawatt (GW) manufacturing-linked solar scheme to Rs 2.85/unit from Rs 2.75/unit set earlier.
The ceiling tariff was initially set at `2.93/unit, and later cut by `0.18 in the wake of falling prices of solar modules. The nodal agency for central government-run renewable projects has also deferred the last date for receiving bids to November 19, the fifth postponement since the initial deadline of August 20.
In the wake of tepid response received from the industry towards the scheme, the SECI has amended the terms for bidders multiple times since its launch in June. Through the scheme, 3 GW of cumulative annual solar manufacturing units are seen to be set up over three years, resulting in 10 GW of new generation capacities.
The SECI has already expanded the window to avail waivers on the inter-state transmission system charge by extending the commissioning deadline from FY22 to FY24. Solar companies would now get 36 months, a year more than the timeline mandated earlier, for commencing commercial operations from their manufacturing units.
The SECI has also tweaked the minimum shareholding criteria for bidders in special purpose vehicles incorporated for executing projects under the tender. The requisite bank guarantee amount has also been cut by almost 25% to Rs 466 crore.
The scheme was launched to boost the domestic solar manufacturing industry, which was growing tepidly in spite of huge surge in solar generation capacity in the country. Solar developers sourced 88% of the products though cheaper imported component in FY18.
To aid domestic manufacturing, the government has levied a 25% safeguard duty on import of solar cells — the basic ingredient needed to make solar panels — for a year ending July 19, 2019. The duty would be 20% for the next six months till January 29, 2020, and 15% in the subsequent six months.
The average power spot prices jumped over 45% to Rs 5.94 per unit in the month of October on the energy exchange from Rs 4.08 per unit in the same month a year ago. According to a statement by Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), coal shortage, higher demand, lower wind and hydropower generation were the key factors that pushed the sales volume to highest ever in any month. IEX witnessed sales volume of 7,125 million units during the month, a rise of 22% from October and 63% from the same period last year.
The average market clearing price (MCP) registered a 26% increase to Rs 5.94 per unit from Rs 4.69 per unit in the month of September, and 45.5% rise from October 2017, the statement said. In October, both volume and power prices remained on the higher side, on account of high demand from eastern, western and southern states. Also, there were supply constraints like lower hydro and wind generation, as well as coal shortage, which affected the market, it added.
During the peak hours between 6 PM to 11 PM, the average spot power prices were the highest at Rs 7.30 per units. DAM (Day Ahead Market) traded 6,505 million units in October, an increase of 14% month-on-month and 59% from the corresponding period last year, and also the highest ever in any month. IEX said that ‘One Nation, One Price’ was realised for 17 days during the month.
It may be noted that overall power demand in the country is likely to go up with the Narendra Modi-led government is focusing to provide ‘24×7 clean and affordable power for all’ by March 2019.
Meanwhile, the energy exchange also launched its GST portal on October 31 for smooth handling of GST collection, invoicing and associated obligations of TCS and TDS, pertaining to trade in the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) market.
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