NEW DELHI: Mr Satish Mahana, Cabinet Minister, Infrastructure and Industrial Development, Govt of Uttar Pradesh today said that Uttar Pradesh has emerged as one of the most preferred investment destinations due to the government’s policies that focus on ‘ease of doing business’.
Addressing the webinar on Challenges in sourcing cheaper electricity for industries in Uttar Pradesh organized by FICCI, Mr Mahana said, “Uttar Pradesh is on a mission to attract investment, which will, in return, generate employment opportunities for the citizens.”
He said the Industrial Investment & Employment Promotion Policy of Uttar Pradesh 2017 was formulated with the vision to establish UP as a nationally and internationally competitive investment destination.
In the recent past, the state government has taken several initiatives to promote industries in the state. “The state jumped to number two position, from number 12, in terms of ‘ease of doing business’ in India,” he said.
Post-COVID lockdown, industries today are facing pressure to reduce their operating costs and overcome economic contraction. The state government is working with industries to identify measures required to overcome these challenges and has also recently issued an Industrial Policy for reviving industrial activity in various parts of the region. “As electricity cost is one of the major input costs for manufacturing industries, industries in UP must explore all options to source competitive power available in the country,” said the Minister.
The Minister urged FICCI and industry members for a joint meeting on the current open-access situation to discuss the prospects and open doors for industries in UP by sourcing cheaper electricity supply system, which will be a win-win situation for both the industry and the government.
Speaking at the event, Mr Sharad Jaipuria, Chairman-FICCI UP State Council said, “Industries in UP need affordable power to reduce the input cost and this power should be competitive to keep the cost of the product competitive.” He further said that open access can help consumers to source electricity competitively instead of buying expensive electricity from local Discoms. “It allows consumers to buy electricity directly from power generators, traders, or exchange. Consumers need to pay certain open access charges as defined in appropriate regulations for using power networks,” said Mr Jaipuria.
Mr Anujesh Dwivedi, Partner, Deloitte highlighted the significance and need for cheaper power for manufacturing and how this can be enabled through open access. “To reduce cost and tackle economic slowdown post-COVID, existing industries need assistance to attract new investments into the state. Significant cost savings can be made by industrial consumers, by sourcing electricity from more competitive sources under open access,” he said.
Mr Manoj Gupta, CMD, MKU Ltd said, “Tariff and Non- tariff barriers should be relaxed to help industries contribute more to the GDP growth in the country. These tariffs put an extra burden on the cost incurred by industries to meet out its daily expenses. “Reverse metering system installed for a rooftop solar system at some industries in Kanpur and UP, which has been withdrawn must be re-introduced as it benefitted industries on a larger basis in tackling electricity cost,” he said.
Mr Rohit Bajaj, Head-BD, IEX said, there are various options of power procurement like long term, medium term, bilateral, and exchange. Exchange is the most preferred option for buying electricity globally with minimum prices. With the interventional of Ministry of Power and CERC, we have introduced the real-time power where one can buy power on an hourly basis. “Rationalisation of charges is the main need of the hour to tackle the post-COVID situation,” he said.
Mr Amar Tulsiyan, Co-Chairman, FICCI UP State Council said, UP is on a mission to attract investment to the state, which will not only increase the employment rate but also save the migrant workers. The industry welcomes the open access and we will submit a white paper on the same to the government at the earliest.