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Draft national energy policy proposes aligning energy prices with international rates

Draft national energy policy proposes aligning energy prices with international rates
A draft national energy policy proposing aligning energy prices with international rates will be put up for the approval of the Cabinet.If approved, energy prices across sectors would become market-driven and subsides would be limited to identified beneficiaries via direct benefit transfer, much on the lines of the LPG subsidy
In June, government think tank Niti Aayog released a draft National Energy Policy (NEP), on which it had been working since 2015.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired interministerial consultations on the policy after the coal ministry expressed reservations over market-driven prices that would pose a threat to the monopoly and margins of Coal India.
The policy will help India integrate with the global energy world without compromising on the energy needs of the poorest of the poor, who will continue to get subsidy on all forms of energy directly into their bank accounts through direct , a senior government official told ET.
"The outward-looking policy is against any kind of subsidies at the production and distribution levels as it distorts the system.Instead, it has strongly vouched for DBT as the technological platform to transfer subsidies to the poor after the success of LPG," the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.In its draft policy released in June, Niti Aayog said India's energy demand was likely to soar around three times by 2040, leading to increase in overall primary energy imports.
It had also made a case for a single regulator to govern India's energy market to make 'India's economy energy-ready' by 2040. The NEP will replace the Integrated Energy Policy of the UPA regime and lay the road map for government push towards clean energy and reducing fuel import
According to the draft NEP, the period 2017-2040 is expected to witness a quantum leap in the uptake of renewable energy, drastic reduction in energy intensity, doubling of per-capita energy consumption and tripling of per-capita electricity consumption."It is expected that implementation of the NEP would cater to wider consumer choices and provide a level playing field, competitive economy and energy security to India by 2040," the draft policy had said.
The Economioc Times, New Delhi, 27th November 2017

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