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CM inaugurates national workshop of Forum of Indian Regulators (FOIR)

“Time to frame user-friendly, foolproof norms and regulations for transparency while inviting tenders for infrastructure projects”

“Need to review the role of Central regulators to ensure they serve the nation's interests, and not vote bank politics to win elections”

– Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad, Thursday: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today called for framing user-friendly, foolproof norms and regulations for bringing about transparency during the process of inviting tenders to help implementation of various infrastructure projects and to facilitate development in modern India.

Inaugurating a workshop of the Forum of Indian Regulators (FOIR) organized by Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) here, he said that several projects are implemented in the state under the JNNURM, but in the absence of any model framework the norms and the process of inviting and finalizing tenders differ.

Shri Narendra Modi said that there is need to review the role of Central regulatory commissions and authorities to ensure they serve the nation's interests, and not the vote bank politics for winning elections.

As to the question of autonomy, Shri Narendra Modi said the current process of deciding the electricity tariff by Electricity Regulatory Commissions (ERCs) is painfully long, but it requires no norms or regulations to announce or provide free electricity. It is like allowing the entire elephant to pass through, but the tail is trapped.

Referring to dichotomy between exploration and utilization of natural resources under the Central regulations, he said that Gujarat can produces natural gas but it does not have powers to consume the same gas or lay pipelines for gas grids. Similarly, he said that Gujarat has to buy coal or gas at a higher price.

Shri Narendra Modi  said that Gujarat has undertaken many initiatives and developed parameters for setting up infrastructure facilities for the welfare of the people and for the state's development. For instance, he said that reorganization and qualitative improvement has helped Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB) overcome a Rs.2,533-crore loss-making company to a Rs.533-crore profit making company, but at the same time maintaining a subsidy of Rs.900-crore as before. The achievement is a subject fit for case study of best practices by other states, he said.

He said that Gujarat has initiated a number of projects in harnessing renewable sources of energy as part of accepting challenges with Climate Change. He said that a pilot project has been launched to re-use water evaporating from the canal networks. In another project, it has succeeded in generating one megawatt of power from one-km stretch of flowing water in canals. Now, the state has embarked on developing solar power on a large scale.

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) Chairman Mr. Pramod Dev, who is also President of FOIR, explained the objectives of the workshop. He cited the Gujarat Government's achievements as noteworthy.

Earlier, GERC Chairman Dr. P.K. Mishra in his welcome address made a detailed presentation on the working and characteristics of GERC.

Sources: Gujarat Information Bureau

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