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Coal tax at 5% in GST will bring down power tariffs: Goyal

20 May 2017, 05:51 | Terri Saunders

Union power minister Piyush Goyal lauded the Raje government in Rajasthan for ‘pulling’ out discoms from losses

Rajasthan news

In a bid to ensure power supply where grid connectivity is not available, the Centre has adopted an off-grid power supply approach to villages, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said here on Friday.

"The entire GST regime is created to help bring down costs all over the country and aims at one nation, one tax to reduce corruption", Goyal said at a briefing here on the progress made in rural electrification. "At these places where grids can not reach, we are planning to give off-grid solution for which (chief minister) Vasundhara Raje ji and central government had extensive discussion" added the minister.Appreciating work done under Raje government, Goyal took potshots on previous Congress government for mishandling power sector.

About lower rates on coal under GST, he said, "The coal sector will also benefit (due to GST) with straight away benefits to consumers because (higher) taxes used to be a burden on consumer of India".

A senior executive at state-run power producer NTPC said the reduction in tax incidence of coal would result in 6-7 paisa per unit decrease in electricity generation cost.

With renewables tariff already touching new lows, Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said there was no need for lower taxes to encourage clean energy and the GST regime will have no impact on power rates. "Tariffs for solar projects vary from project to project". I am delighted that the GST council has chosen to keep coal at 5 per cent slab. "The rise will be compensated by the decline in corruption and operational difficulties", he said in this regard.

Welcoming the 5% tax on coal, Association of Power Producers director general Ashok Khurana said: "This will help to reduce the retail price of power for consumers".

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However, he said no clear exemption has been prescribed as yet for taxation of electricity under GST.

Coal is now taxed at 11.69 per cent.

According to Union power ministry data, 426 of the 495 villages in the state have been electrified under DDUGJY - a Centre-sponsored electrification scheme.

Only 3,900 villages remain to get the electricity. The process of taking electricity to 69,058 villages is in progress, while 68, 67, 371 households have been electrified.Acknowledging, state's demographic conditions, minister pointed that Center is looking for off-grid solutions for the state.

It said that free electricity connections were provided to 256.81 lakh below poverty line families up to April 30 2017.

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