Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: In view of the nationwide lockdown, the Odisha government has urged the Centre to extend a financial package to the power sector that will be helpful for continuity of essential services.

Noting that the nationwide lockdown has caused economic hardships, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy called on Union Power Secretary Sanjeev Nandan Sahai to reduce coal prices for this period, deferring all capital expenses such as loan repayment, interest payment and return on equity.

Read: COVID-19: Odisha May Now Send Lockdown Rule Violators To Jail For 2 Years

Standard pricing of coal needs to be discontinued for the time being, and each coal company needs to declare its price based on cost of production, excluding the capital costs, Tripathy said.

"Companies should be directed to discontinue charging any premium/incentive on bridge/flexi/long-term linkage coal being availed for the year 2020-21 or at least for the next six months," he said in a letter to Sahai on Wednesday.

A similar concession can also be offered in case of lignite and gas prices, he said.

The Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and other financial institutions should provide loans to power sector players, including generators, transmission and distribution companies, Tripathy said.

Also Read: COVID19 Lockdown In Odisha: ‘Broken Chain Of Command Triggering Price Rise’

He added that RBI's three-month moratorium on repayment of loans and interest may be considered for extension to six months for the energy sector.

(With Agency Inputs)