Power and Renewable Energy Sector

We are doing our best every day, sitting on the same spot for hours, reading as much as we can, and gaining as much knowledge as possible to become valuable and be a solution provider to the world’s problems. Why are we doing this and what do we want to achieve by being valuable? Your answer can be anything from buying yourself a Tesla or a Bentley, or a sea-facing bungalow, or making the world tour dream come true or anything else. Now imagine a scenario where you do not have enough infrastructure to charge your Tesla or secure enough fuel for your Bentley, or enough power to light up your beautiful sea-facing bungalow. You might wish to work for the welfare of the poor and underdeveloped rural regions but that is impossible without securing enough electricity to light up their homes and empower their small businesses. I hope these few lines will be enough to make us understand the direct impact of power and energy sector on our lives. Also, the growth of the economy and its global competitiveness heavily depends on the availability of reliable and quality power at competitive rates to all consumers at all places.

In the previous year, the government focused its budget allocation towards reforming the distribution networks by introducing large scale smart metering and an expansion of the National gas grid. However, the allocation of INR 22,000 crore wasn’t just enough to quench this thirst and address the proposed reforms of the country. Also, as the pandemic hit the country, the need for power suffered a huge blow. There were not enough cashflows available with the distribution companies and therefore they were not able to fulfill their obligations to the power generation companies. Therefore, this year, the government had to focus a major expenditure of INR 1,20,000 crore on increasing the liquidity to support this supply chain and was forced to compromise on the structural reforms it wanted to introduce. 

The union budget of FY 2021-22 focused not only on bringing in structural reforms to step up on the ladder of development but also on providing aid to the distressed power sector. Therefore, the government allocated INR 3,06,000 crore to the distribution companies to support this important link of the entire power sector value chain. In addition to this, the Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd. will also raise about 69 % higher funds through the internal and extra-budgetary resources against what it raised previously. This is done to strengthen the sub-transmission and distribution networks in the rural areas, metering of distribution transformers/feeders/consumers in the rural area, and rural electrification.

Previously the government had discussed reducing aggregated technical and commercial losses which are currently at 26.31% (as per the Ministry of Power, Government of India) to below 15%. The present budget also has included this agenda to reduce technical losses with contemporary equipment for last-mile distribution. There is a proposal for pre-paid smart-metering which is a very expensive venture and still needs to be made clear with the kind of roll-out mechanism that will be put in place for its implementation.

As of now, we understand that in the previous year government could not contribute much to power generation companies, therefore this year a higher expenditure of INR 61,555 crore will be done, which is 22% higher than the revised estimates of the fiscal year 2021. This allocation will be made to increase the coal-based power generation capacity and build several hydroelectric power projects in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. In addition to increasing power generation, this will improve the transmission and distribution infrastructure under the Integrated Power Development Scheme by the Ministry of Power. IPDS also aims at strengthening the sub-transmission network, and also be involved in metering, IT application, customer care Services, provisioning of solar panels, and the completion of the ongoing works of Restructured Accelerated Power Development and completion of the Reforms Programme (RAPDRP). The government is also determined to set up a separate central transmission utility for easing the planning and execution division of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd has been sanctioned INR 12,696 crore, approximately half of which is towards the development of renewable sources of energy and the rest half is towards the maintenance and expansion of the current resources. The government wants to establish a renewable energy capacity of 500 GW by 2030. It plans to install 175 GW of renewable capacity, including 100 GW of solar capacity by the year 2022. Presently we only have about 90GW of energy being produced by renewable sources and still require 85 GW to be installed to achieve this year’s target. The allocation to the solar energy corporation of India which will be funded by IEBR is set to boost the pace of the underdevelopment projects which will increase the power capacity by 32 GW using solar energy and 8 GW using wind energy.

Government expenditure in form of subsidies was seen under the KUSUM Scheme under the ministry of power and new & renewable energy. With the help of this scheme. the government is planning to update the irrigation system of India and as well as promoting solar power production by changing more than 3 crore diesel and petrol-driven pumps by solar-powered pumps. In addition to this scheme, the budget [DT1] also focused on increasing the subsidies for the development of grid-connected solar infrastructure under the solar rooftop program designed to expand access to solar savings for qualified residential customers who otherwise may not be able to use solar because of the high cost of installing panels. 

The government also put yet another strong step forward for an Atmanirbhar Bharat by increasing the import duty on solar modules/cells and inverters up to 20% for 2021 from 5%. This increase in taxes is supposed to push the local manufacturing capabilities in India which in turn will reap its benefits towards increasing the solar power capacities in near future. These measures come with a backdrop to reduce India’s import dependence on Chinese products, as almost 80% of the imports of solar cells, modules, and inverters were from China.

Energy is an important input for economic development and the power sector is an indispensable part of the infrastructure in [DT2] any economy. Providing adequate and affordable electric power is essential for economic development, human welfare, and a better standard of living. The demand for power in a developing country like India is enormous and is growing steadily. Thus it is very clear that the government wishes to achieve a growth-centric, investor-friendly, and environment-conscious energy sector for the country. It is evident that the government is ambitiously putting in efforts to push towards a gas-based economy, developing infrastructure to enable cleaner use of fossil fuels and reliance on renewable sources to meet COP21 commitments as it also believes in The nation that leads in renewable energy will be the nation that leads the world”.



India spends over 4 per cent of GDP on infrastructure, according to Oxford economics, as opposed to China, which spends about 6 per cent of GDP. To achieve UN sustainable development targets, India needs to invest at least 1.5 trillion more annually. Disputes between the government and vendors over infrastructure contracts often result in delivery delays and cost escalations.

On 1st February 2021 the Union Budget of India for 2020-21 was presented. It was led by Indian FM Nirmala Sitaraman and is the first one to be paperless due to the Covid Pandemic situation!

Let us look at the government budget’s exclusive Infra reports:

  • The Government has extended its ₹ 111 lakh crore ($1.5 trillion) national infrastructure pipeline so that by 2025 it can cover more projects to shore up economic growth as the nation recovers from the pandemic caused recession.
  • The National Infrastructure Pipeline, with 6,835 projects initiated, has now grown to 7,400 projects. Under some main infrastructure ministries, approximately 217 projects worth Rs 1.10 lakh crore have been completed.
  • The programme would need an increase in both government and finance sector support, she added. The government is planning to take three concrete measures for this purpose:
    • Creating structural framework Great traction on asset monetization Rising the proportion of capital expenditures in central and state budgets
    • Large thrust on asset monetisation
    • Increase in federal and state budget allocation in capital spending
  • To draw investment and make India a $5 trillion economy, building new highways, rail links and other social and economic infrastructure is crucial. The NIP, collectively sponsored by the central government (39%), the state government (40%) and the private sector (21%), aims to invest in projects across sectors such as electricity, social and business infrastructure, connectivity, water and sanitation.
  • In addition, a new construction financing institution named the National Bank for Infrastructure and Growth Finance will be set up by the government. This will be set up on a Rs 20,000 crore capital base and in three years it will have a Rs 5 lakh crore lending target.
  • The FM said, ““Infrastructure needs long-term debt financing. A professionally managed development financial institution is necessary to act as provider, enabler and catalyst for infrastructure financing”

Some of the other key announcements that the government announced with regards to the Infra-Sector:

  • It will launch a nationwide monetisation pipeline of future brownfield infrastructure properties.
  • To track progress and to provide investors with visibility, an asset monetisation dashboard will be developed.
  • NHAI and PGCIL to build confidence in infrastructure investment to draw worldwide funds. Five operating roads are being moved to NHAI InvIT with an approximate enterprise value of Rs 5,000 crore.
  • Transmission reserves to be transferred to PGCIL InvIT to the amount of Rs 7,000 crore
  • Rs 5.54 lakh crore for 2021-22 – a sharp rise in capital spending, which is 34.5 percent higher than the 2020-21 budget forecast.
  • To have more than Rs 2 lakh crore for the capital spending of states and autonomous bodies.

    Gross budget funding for capital spending was substantially increased to Rs 5,54 lakh crore in 2021-22 BE (up 34% from 2020-21 BE and 26% from 2020-21 RE), with a higher allocation to the infrastructure market (roads, railways, etc).
Capital Outlay (₹ Crore)2020-21 BUDGET ESTIMATES2020-21 REVISED ESTIMATES2021-22 BUDGET ESTIMATESGrowth over BEGrowth over RE
Railways₹ 1,60,792₹ 2,40,840₹ 2,14,85834%-11%
Road Transport & Highways₹ 1,46,975₹ 1,57,053₹ 1,98,23035%26%
MRTS and Metrorail₹ 20,471₹ 9,437₹ 24,58220%160%
Ports, Shipping and Waterways₹ 3,715₹ 3,129₹ 4,91732%57%

The Union Budget has declared the creation of a new DFI with a capital of Rs.20,000 crore to increase the funding availability for the infrastructure sector. The goal of this organization is to finance and provide the infrastructure sector with debt more than Rs 5 lakh crore over the next three years, thus helping to bridge the infrastructure funding gap. The funding of infrastructure projects in India is primarily from the banking sector and a few NBFCs for infrastructure.

The Union Budget also provided the NIIF with Rs 5,000 crore, which would enable it to acquire infrastructure properties. Apart from this, the NIIF Infrastructure Debt Financing Mechanism was provided with another Rs 1,000 crore funding, which could be leveraged to provide the sector with substantial debt financing. The NIIF debt platform plans to develop a Rs 1 lakh crore debt portfolio by 2025 with the government’s funding of equity capital and the NIIF Strategic Opportunities Fund and future private sector equity involvement.

TDS on distributions were also removed from the budget by the InvIT, which would reduce the enforcement conditions of unit holders/investors. InvITs have a great ability to draw long-term capital to invest in secure assets for operating facilities and have a constant supply of longer-term cash flows.


Union Budget 2021, the first budget of the decade, also the first digital budget, presented in the backdrop of COVID-19 crisis, estimates total expenditure for 2021-22 at Rs 34.8 lakh crores. Expenditure in 2021-22 has increased at an annual rate of 14% over 2019-20. Revenue expenditure (expenditure for the normal running of government departments, interest charges on debt) is estimated to be Rs 29.3 lakh crores and capital expenditure (government spending that goes into the creation of assets like schools, hospitals, roads, etc.) is estimated to be Rs. 5.5 lakh crores.

Government Receipts (income of the government) are estimated at 19.7 lakh crores (an increase of 6% over 2019-20) leaving deficit of 15 lakh crores to be covered by borrowings (27% annual increase over 2019-20). Fiscal deficit (difference between the total income of the government and its total expenditure) is estimated to be 6.8% of GDP. Government borrowing from the market is planned around Rs 12 lakh crores. The rest is to be funded through multilateral borrowings, Small Saving funds and short-term borrowings. The nominal GDP is estimated to grow at a rate of 14.4% in 2021-22.

Last Year’s Fiscal Position

Budget 2020-21 estimated total expenditure at Rs 30.4 lakh crores, but the actual expenditure came out to be Rs 34.5 lakh crores. Revenue receipts which were estimated to give the government 20 lakh crores were revised to Rs 15.5 lakh crores. Fiscal deficit estimated at 3.5 % of the GDP was pegged at 9.5 % of the GDP.

Break Up of Government Receipts

SourceEstimates (in lakh crore)
A. Tax Receipts 
i) Indirect Taxes11.2 (6.3 from GST)
ii) Income Tax5.61
iii) Corporation Tax5.47
iv) Excise Duty3.35
B. Non-Tax receipts2.43
C. Disinvestments1.75

Non-tax revenue consists of interest receipts on loans given by the centre, dividends and profits, external grants and receipts from general, economic, and social services, among others.

Gross Tax revenue is estimated at Rs 22.1 lakh crores, of which the central government’s share is Rs 15.45 lakh crore. Devolution to states, estimated at 6.65 lakh crores, is marginally higher than last year’s devolution.


  • Exemption from filing tax returns for senior citizens over 75 years of age and having only pension and interest income
  • National Faceless Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Centre to be established
  • Eligibility for tax holiday claim for start-ups extended by one more year
  • Capital gains exemption for investment in start-ups extended till 31 March,2022


  • Reduction in Custom Duty: On certain Iron and steel products, Textile products, Gold and Silver, Chemicals.
  • MSME- To incentivise exports of garments, leather and handicraft items, exemption on import of duty-free items rationalised.
  • Agriculture- Customs duty on cotton set at 10% and increase on duty on raw silk and silk yarn from 10% to 15%.

What’s cheaper, What’s costlier


  • Cars
  • Electronic appliances
  • Leather Items
  • Shoes
  • Mobiles and Home Appliances


  • Gold, silver and other precious metals like platinum and palladium
  • Medical devices imported by international organisation and diplomatic missions
  • Nylon Clothes


The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Indian economy with the gross domestic product contracting by 23.9 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2020. The country had already been burdened by the declining consumer demand and investment. Currently, amidst the global recession and pandemic, there is a dire need for economic reforms in our country.
The banking sector is the backbone of Indian economy as it facilitates capital formation and it has been impacted in various ways by the pandemic. The sector faced business continuity as well as operational issues. But they have taken steps to minimise the impact so that their short-term profitability is unaffected. In its recent report on the trends and progress of banking in India for FY 20, RBI states that the improvement in the health of the banking sector hinges around the pace and shape of economic recovery.
As per the RBI report, The GNPA ratio of banks declined from 9.1 percent at the end of March 2019 to 8.2 percent by the end of March 2020 and further to 7.5 percent at the end-September of 2020. Scheduled commercial Banks (SCB) have earned a net profit in FY20 after incurring losses in the previous 2 years. This is a positive sign which can be attributed to the various steps taken by RBI to boost the pandemic-stricken economy. It acted swiftly with aggressive policy rate cuts, moratorium and time-bound resolution for specified sectors, massive system-level and targeted liquidity infusion.
The MSME sector which is the largest employment provider in the country has been the worst hit by the pandemic. The sector suffered from liquidity crisis, labour-shortages, supply shocks, high default risks and non-payment of dues. Since the sector employs nearly 40% of the country’s population, the persisting problem is more than an economic problem. Government has come up with schemes such as Emergency Credit Line Guarantee (ECLG) scheme to improve credit absorption by the sector. Since MSME sector is inherently a dynamic sector, the recovery of the sector depends upon how efficiently they scale and diversify upon getting credit access. Their dynamism can rise manifold if provided with the necessary infrastructure in terms of electricity, transportation etc…
Since India is currently focussing on economic recovery, TJEF has decided to focus on the 2 sectors that contribute most to the Indian economy, i.e. banking and MSME sector. This edition of the journal covers the factors affecting the profitability of banks and how the MSME sector can recover from the current economic crisis.
On behalf of the TJEF editorial board, I would like to appreciate the sincere efforts put in by all the authors who wrote for us. I hope the readers find these research papers insightful.
Happy Reading! – Taniya John (Editor, TJEF)

Please find the link to the full journal : https://tapmiedu-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/personal/tjef_tapmi_edu_in/EX4CrwXgeJ1LkqS9klTEe7sBvTvxooAFgWA7CvNKQkEQhA?e=CgG8DY

A Case For Corporates As Banks

The state of the economy of any country is reflected in the health of its banks and financial institutions. The impact of any economic or financial crisis is that Non Performing Assets (NPA) or bad loans shoot up. If the bad loans do not get resolved very quickly, banking system becomes credit averse and the economy of a country starts slowing down. Weak banks and financial institutions start collapsing This is what we are witnessing in India. Indian banks are not willing to lend. The last few years has seen many banking and NBFC (Non-banking financial company) failures. In September 2018, IL&FS, the infrastructure lending NBFC giant collapsed, followed by PMC Bank and Yes Bank, DHFL, a housing loan NBFC, was put on the block and recently Lakshmi Vilas Bank was taken over by DBS after RBI superseded the board. When a bank collapses, it causes a lingering instability in the financial system. To arrest this instability, RBI has been ensuring the takeover of any large bank or financial institution that has collapsed such as IL&FS, Yes bank and the recent kid on the block, LVB. Recently, RBI’s internal working group came up with a proposal to allow corporates to run banks. While RBI is yet to respond to this proposal, the proposal has been met with strong criticism.

NPAs and the banking sector

To help the banking sector in spreading credit availability, 14 banks were nationalized in 1969. In 1980, six more banks were nationalized. With this, more than 70% of the banking sector became state owned. After the 1991 economic reforms, RBI started providing banking licenses to private entities. According to the latest data of RBI, the market share of Public sector banks (PSBs) has been dipping and the private sector bank’s share have been surging in both loans and deposits. This has been attributed to the rising number of Non-Performing assets (NPAs) in the balance sheets of the PSBs. A lot of NPAs are attributed to mid-2000s period, when the economy was booming, and loans were available more easily. Post 2008 crisis, after economic growth stagnated and corporate profits decreased, the repayment capability of the corporates decreased. This caused the banking sector to come under duress. The proportion of NPAs went from 2% in 2008 to over 10% in 2018. As seen below, private sector banks have lesser NPA as a percentage to their loan books as opposed to PSBs.

The government has infused over 3 lakh crores in the last decade to help PSBs deal with NPAs. The pandemic is expected to increase NPAs. Although the Indian economy has witnessed a significant improvement by narrowing down from 23.9 % contraction in the April -June GDP Quarter (Q1) to 7.5 % contraction in the July-September GDP Quarter (Q2), demand from corporate sector is still muted, hence credit offtake has remained stagnant. Gross NPAs may jump 8.5 % in March 2020 to 12.5 % by end of the current fiscal year according to RBI.

 In 2019, 10 PSBs were merged into 4 entities in order to increase the global competitiveness of the banks. There have been calls for privatization in the light of increasing NPAs several scams coming into light over the last few years. It is argued that if the government equity is reduced to less than 50% in PSBs, senior management of PSBs will have more autonomy and will function like private sector banks. The largest bank of India, SBI, has a balance sheet four times the size of HDFC bank yet its market capitalization is just 1/3rd of HDFC’s, perhaps reflecting the state of management of PSBs vis-à-vis Private sector banks.

Corporates in Banking

Corporates were not given banking licenses because of fears of connected lending, lack of supervisory mechanism for the corporates, but they have a good presence in NBFCs, in fact the NBFCs run by corporate houses like Bajaj, Tata are counted as part of the top 10 Indian NBFCs. In November 2020, an internal working group of RBI, recommended that large corporate houses/industrial houses may be permitted to run banks. It also recommended that large NBFCs with an asset size of above Rs 50,000 crores be allowed to convert themselves into a bank. This recommendation has received backlash from central bankers and economists. This proposal comes when India’s banking and financial sector has been passing through choppy times.

In a joint article, former RBI Governor, Raghuram Rajan and former Deputy Governor, Viral Acharya, called this proposal a ‘bombshell’. Opposing it vehemently, they argued that a conflict of interest would emerge (i.e, an industrial group borrowing from its own bank) and this would cause the weakening of bank’s due diligence which could eventually cause rise in bad lending (NPAs). In the case of borrower defaulting, there could be a contagion effect (as both the borrower and lender are from the same industrial house in this case). They point to how PSBs were forced to lend to government entities against conventional banking practices and how it has affected them. Also, this would result in concentration of economic power in certain entities. They also added that PSBs should not be sold to large corporate houses and instead should be professionalized and made more robust.

S&P, the global rating agency said, it was skeptical of allowing corporate ownership in banks given India’s weak corporate governance and pointed out the same risks stated by the former central bankers. But, it also added that the conditions in the proposal, i.e., minimum paid up capital of Rs 1000 crores for setting up a bank, would enable only deep pocketed corporates to set up such a bank and that would provide stability in the capitalization of the banks. It also added that top NBFCs have a head start in converting themselves into banks.

Yay or Nay

The larger picture that emerges from the opinions of the central bankers and S&P is, that a conflict of interest emerges. A bank run by an influential corporate would come under pressure to lend to them even if the lending is against the interests of the banks. Even the PSBs have faced allegations of lending to influential corporates under directives from their political masters. India’s top business groups have faced allegations of corporate mis governance and giving banking licenses will raise a few eyebrows. No changes in corporate governance has been felt that such a time tested strategy of not allowing corporates in the banking sector can be changed.

The recent banking collapses and the scams such as PNB have raised questions over the effectiveness of RBI’s supervision itself. It is generally accepted that RBI is one of the least autonomous Central banks despite having enormous powers. Before such a proposal is accepted, RBI must be given more supervisory bandwidth and it must tighten its oversight on banks.

India’s corporate governance, although relatively weaker than US’s and Europe’s, has kept evolving for the better. India does need more banks, despite the bank nationalization, setting up of Regional Rural Banks, increasing number of NBFCs, introduction of niche banking like payment banks, financial inclusion has remained low. The government’s decision to limit public sector entities to just four in critical sectors means the role of PSBs will decrease in the future and as it is, private sector banks are stealing a march over the PSBs. The banking sector bears the brunt of any economic or financial crisis. It is important to keep this in mind before making changes to the banking sector especially in a country like India.

– From Shubhang Sunkara (Editor, TJEF)

The Impact of COVID-19 on India’s Female Population

Amongst all the hullabaloo over the economic impact from COVID-19, Financial Times asked a pertinent question for the world and especially for India- Is the coronavirus crisis taking women back to the 1950’s?

For India’s 600 million women, the crisis has heightened the pre-existing gender imbalances. According to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, India ranked 112 out of 153 countries on gender parity even before the pandemic. It takes the 149th position in terms of Economic Participation and Opportunity, 112th in Education and 150th in Health and Survival. The female labour force participation is a mere 24.8% and 90% of these women are involved in informal employment. [1]The service sector, which includes retail and hospitality industry has been the hardest hit and unfortunately employs a large proportion of women. This put millions of women at the risk of a permanent exit from the labour market or doing vulnerable jobs. The reverse migration crisis of labourers from cities to villages has translated to reduction in economic opportunities for rural women. This includes both private agricultural jobs and social protection schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). This will lead to greater income poverty among women and a sharp fall in their command over market income — both key predictors of household wellbeing and food security.[2]

The National Family Health Survey (NHFS 4) talks about the non-economic aspects of gender parity in India. Almost 33% of married women have experienced physical, sexual or emotional spousal violence. The COVID pandemic which forced India to implement the strictest lock-downs in the world has heightened vulnerability of gender-based violence as both the partners are stuck at home. The economic and non-economic frustrations along with no exit options for women has led to an increase in the number of emergency calls to helplines between 25%-300%.[3]

Food and nutrition insecurities worsen during economic crises. As per Indian societal norms, women and girls are supposed to prioritize the health and well being of men and boys. Hence, the first to experience hunger when resources are in short supply — even in normal times are females. Indian women consume nutrient-rich foods less frequently than men. Short-term malnutrition can lead to permanent exclusion from the labour market and government workfare schemes, contributing to a new cycle of poverty among working-class women.[4] Among other things, the pandemic ruptured the service delivery of key welfare services. According to a survey, only 75% of pregnant and lactating women and 13.75% of adolescent girls suffering from malnourishment received ration from the 1.3 million ICDS Anganwadi centres.[5]

The pandemic has already seen the scrapping of labour laws which the respective state governments believe is the only way to attract private investment. Without policy reinforcement, COVID-19 will only deepen existing social and economic inequalities for Indian women. So, what should be done to help women as the Indian economy prepares to open further?

Every crisis presents an opportunity and it is imperative we do not let this crisis slide into a ‘she-cession’. One solution could be to increase the involvement of women in the COVID recovery plans. For example, Kerala’s Health Minister, K.K. Shailaja has been honoured by the United Nations for her efforts to tackle the pandemic. Under her guidance, The Gender Park, an autonomous body under the Kerala Government, is all set to partner with the United Nations Women to further the cause of women empowerment and function as a South Asia hub for gender equality. She has been featured in Vogue’s Women of The Year andonFinancial Times Most Inspiring Women among other tributes.

[1] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_2020.pdf

[2] https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/southasia/2020/07/08/tackling-indias-deepening-gender-inequality-during-covid-19/

[3] https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/fighting-a-double-pandemic/article31884170.ece

[4] https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/southasia/2020/07/08/tackling-indias-deepening-gender-inequality-during-covid-19/

[5] https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/in/pdf/2020/06/anganwadi-report-2020.pdf