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PFC to shoulder Bengal plans

New Delhi, Dec. 6: Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has finalised an allocation of Rs 3,800 crore for the power projects to be taken up by the West Bengal government during the Tenth Five-Year plan.

This is 80 per cent of the total cost of projects proposed to be set up by the state government during the five-year plan period. The financial assistance will be given to the states based on the reform progress made by them according to milestone to be set up by the state government in consultations with PFC.

The West Bengal government has proposed to set up power projects and other reform-related activities at a cost of Rs 4,800 crore during the plan period.

To ensure that benefits arising from the lending operations endure, PFC has been addressing the problem of unsatisfactory performance of the state power utilities through a methodical formulation and implementation of Operational and Financial Action Plan (OFAP).

OFAP documents are based on diagnostic study and encompasses in it different areas of functioning of the power utilities. It is prepared in consultation and agreement with the utility and the state government concerned.

“The thrust on OFAP and its linkages with the PFC assistance has brought about quantitative as well as qualitative changes in the performance of the utilities,” said V. S. Saxena, director, institutional development and administration, PFC.

“We have finalised the assistance with the West Bengal government and it will be taken up by our board for final approval. We will also be taking up similar cases for other states of Northeast during the board meeting,” said Saxena.

PFC has also signed a memorandum of understanding with West Bengal State Electricity Board (WBSEB) and Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) to utilise funds available from the $150 million loan that the corporation had received from Asian Development Bank.

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