Power , coal and renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal challenges anybody to prove that solar tariffs in the country are unviable. He says India Inc is used to crony capitalism, high tariffs and profiteering, and needs time to adjust to an honest regime.He added that there is no fund crunch in the power sector as the government’s revival measures have worked, but some private companies are facing financial constraint due to issues related to promoters. In an interview with ET, he also said the government is contemplating a mega fund for the power sector, besides giving boost to hydro and wind projects. Edited excerpts:
What is your take on high interest rates?
I would like to see lower interest rates, particularly when all macroeconomic parameters are so strong. The wholesale price index has been in negative territory for 17 months which was getting scary. It could lead to a negative GDP type of situation. I am glad that at least it has come to a level territory now. But considering other macro indicators, it calls for much lower rates. But that’s for the experts to calibrate how and when. It is not my domain.
Most private power companies are debt-ridden. Do you think it is time to reconsider a power fund?
I don’t’ know who is saying they don’t have money, given the revival of almost all power plants that were stressed. A few are pending but most of it is seen as promoters’ problems. If there is a bad credit, you can’t expect the banks to get them off. I don’t think any reasonably sound company is facing any financial problems. Rural Electrifiction Corp and Power Finance Corp are looking for good borrowers. There is no shortage of money in this country.