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Focus will be on India’s power sector in 12th Plan: Pranab

According to reports, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said the Centre is contemplating an integrated approach to issues related to the power sector and will accord them greater focus during the 12th Plan period (2012-17).

Mr. Mukherjee said the next meeting of the National Development Council in October will try to take an integrated approach to power sector issues involving States such as West Bengal.

“Problems raised by West Bengal are problems faced by several other States too, and any piecemeal approach would not solve them. So, we need an integrated approach, which I believe will help solve the problems in the 12th Five Year Plan,” he said at the commissioning of 500 MW unit of the Farraka thermal power plant.

Mr. Mukherjee said the problems include increase in power transmission charges and coal price. Another major problem is the cumulative Rs 1,20,000 crore loss by State utilities across the country.

Meanwhile, Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde reiterated that the country would achieve 62,000 MW capacity by March 2012. So far, the country has added 42,000 MW capacity.

The country’s largest power producer, NTPC, is targeting an addition of 4,500 MW during this fiscal at a capex of Rs 26,000 crore.

“We will add 4,500 MW in this year and 5,000 MW every year in the 12th plan period,” said NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhury.

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