NTPC Current Affairs - 2020

Strategic Disinvestment of BPCL and 4 other PSUs

The Cabinet of PM Narendra Modi approved disinvestment of BPCL along with Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Limited (THDCIL) and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO). The GoI has agreed to sell its stakes in the above PSUs

Highlights

The GoI plans to sell 53.3% of its stake of BPCL, 63.8% of SCI and 30.8% of CONCOR to strategic buyers. 74.2% of its stake with THDCIL and 100% of NEEPCO is to be sold to NTPC.

In the disinvestment process the Numaligarh Refinery Limited operating under BPCL is excluded.

Disinvestment plan

The Government had set a disinvestment target of 1.05 lakh crore rupees for the financial year 2019-20. So far, it has collected 17,364 crores as on November 18, 2019. The plan was announced in the Budget session of 2019.

Significance

Disinvestments are done to reduce the financial burdens on government due to inefficient PSUs. It helps to improve public finances. It also introduces market disciplines and competition that will help in depoliticizing non-essential services.

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Govt. launches PRAKASH Portal for monitoring coal supply to power plants

Union Power Minister (Independent charge) Raj Kumar Singh and Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi have jointly launched PRAKASHPower Rail Koyla Availability through Supply Harmony Portal in New Delhi.

About PRAKASH Portal

Objective of Portal: To bring better coordination for coal supplies among all stakeholders.

Need: After rainy season in 2019, coal stocks are higher at 17 million tonne (MT) as compared with over 11 MT in 2018 due to work done by the ministry in this direction. Also the coal production has increased 165 MT in past five years.

Developed By: The portal is developed by NTPC (Electric power distribution company). It sources data from different stakeholders such as CEA (Central Electricity Authority), Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) and coal companies.

Reports Format: Although all reports are available in PDF and Excel format but to present information in a user-friendly method, the portal gives graphical representation of reports with details shown on the map of India. At present, the portal will make available four reports- Daily Power Plant Status, Plant Exception Report, Coal Dispatch Report and Periodic Power Plant Status.

Function:

The portal is designed to help in mapping as well as monitoring entire coal supply chain for power plants, coal stock at supply end (mines), coal quantities/rakes planned, coal quantity in transit and coal availability at power generating station.

It makes available valuable information on a single platform, which will help coal companies track stocks and coal requirement at power stations for effective production planning.

The Indian Railways will plan to place rakes as per actual coal available at siding and stock available at power stations, but besides this, power stations can also plan their future schedule by knowing rakes in pipe line and also the expected time to reach. Portal will also provide information about coal stock at power generating station.

The Union Ministries of power and coal, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (PSOCL) can review overall availability of coal at thermal power plants in different regions.

The portal is for transparency and better coordination among stakeholders, including Coal India Ltd (CIL), Indian Railways, power utilities as well as ministries of coal and power, for coal supplies to power plants. It is designed in a way to help in mapping and monitoring entire coal supply chain for power plants.

Significance: The portal is an important step in ensuring adequate availability and optimum utilization of coal at thermal power plants.

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