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With Sri Lanka facing an energy crisis, PTC India Ltd is keen to supply power to the southern neighbour though the absence of a subsea cable between the two nations poses a hurdle. 

In an interview, PTC India chairman and managing director Rajib K. Mishra said the state-run company can also provide consultancy services to Sri Lanka to build the subsea cable.

 On allegations of misgovernance at unit PTC India Financial Services (PFS), Mishra said the parent operates at an arm’s length from PFS. Edited excerpts:

 

You have tie-ups with neighbouring nations. What developments are taking place on the international front?

The new generation capacity which is coming up in Bhutan and Nepal will be very beneficial and of great importance not only to PTC but for the entire country. 

In India, a lot of renewable capacity is coming up. Now, anything that is coming up (in India) is renewable. But renewable has its own set of issues like during the day you have renewable (solar), but when you require power for lighting and other needs, you don’t have solar.  So, you need some complementary power to come. Either it can be through gas based, it can be hydro or you can use thermal where thermal can supplement. 

Hydropower has a tremendous potential of complementing renewable.  So, for complementing renewable, power generated in Bhutan and Nepal will be of great help to the country. PTC is making all efforts to bring that power to the country and trying to see that it happens. According to our recent assessment, nearly 3,000-5,000 MW (will come) from Nepal in another 5 years, and similarly, 2,000-4,000 MW from Bhutan are in the pipeline.

Do you have any plans for Sri Lanka which is facing an energy crisis at the moment?

We definitely are interested in supplying power to Sri Lanka. But, Sri Lanka is now not connected with India. Sri Lanka is in dire need of power and India could have supplied them to the best of their ability but because of the (absence of) the subsea cable. For Sri Lanka, we are interested to give our support so that the viability of the project can be maintained. We can enter into an agreement with Sri Lankan authorities so that based on that the viability can be proven to the development banks. We can also bring the best of the people for consultancy on the subsea cable. 

Allegations of misgovernance were levelled against PFS. Although clean chits have been given by lenders and the company’s risk management committee, there are apparently differences in PTC’s board on the issue. What are your views?

Let me make it very simple and direct. This is a good company, which is doing very well. Consistently, we have showed that with good governance, we could reach to a level where we are today, as far as the holding company (PTC) is concerned. We are working at an arm’s length with the other subsidiary (PFS) which is again a listed entity. 

So, as far as PTC is concerned, all these things whatever has come up are totally unnecessary because it is not related to PTC. Our business is the trading business where our regulator is CERC.

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