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States agree to pay back Rs 37,400 cr power dues

New Delhi, March 20 (PTI): In a landmark development, 24 states today signed a tripartite agreement with the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India to clear dues worth Rs 37,400 crore of central power PSUs like National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), under a one-time settlement scheme.

NTPC will be biggest beneficiary of the move as it will get about Rs 19,000 crore (net of surcharge waiver) through bonds to be issued by states in favour of central power PSUs.

The total outstanding of state electricity boards (SEBs) towards power PSUs like NTPC, NHPC, PGCIL and coal PSUs, up to September 30, 2001 stood at Rs 37,400 crore.

“This will benefit not only us but the SEBs too. As the state sector is responsible for nearly 70 per cent of the power generation, clearing of old dues will provide a leverage to SEBs to finance their projects further,” said NTPC chief C. P. Jain after the signing of the agreement.

For dues after September, 2001 totalling about Rs 3000 crore, Jain said NTPC has entered into an agreement with most of the states and the dues are likely to be cleared soon.

The states, which got 60 per cent waiver on surcharge as per the recommendations of the Montek Singh Ahluwalia Committee for the one-time settlement, would be issuing bonds through the Reserve Bank of India in favour of power PSUs.

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