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JSEB off, four power firms on

Ranchi, Dec. 30: The cabinet, on the penultimate day of 2013, approved the unbundling of Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) into four separate entities, a decade after The Electricity Act (2003) asked all states to do so to make the power sector more profitable.

Cabinet members of the Hemant Soren-led government met at Project Building today to put their seal of approval to unbundle JSEB into holding company Jharkhand Vidyut Vikas Nigam Ltd and subsidiaries Jharkhand Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd, Jharkhand Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd and Jharkhand Vidyut Sancharan Nigam Ltd.

The move has paved the way for the release of Rs 4,000 crore, approved by the Union power ministry as part of JSEB’s financial restructuring package.

“The unbundling of JSEB will take effect from the date of publication of a notification in the official gazette,” Vimal Kirti Singh, principal secretary of energy department said. According to plan, liabilities will be taken over by the holding company, which JSEB chairman S.N. Verma would head, while subsidiaries would begin with zero liability.

Of the Rs 4,000-crore package, Rs 2,500 crore will be paid to Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) while Rs 1,500 crore will go to Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd as settlement of dues. The state may decide to go for an expansion of TVNL from the Rs 1,500-crore corpus.

“We expect the notification to be issued in the next three to four days,” Singh told The Telegraph. “A World Bank team will reach Ranchi on January 9, 2014, to help the holding company and three subsidiaries draw up business plans.”

The quartet will face teething troubles in operations. No office space has been allocated to the three proposed subsidiary companies. The work of identifying JSEB assets and liabilities has not been done.