Amidst Covid-19 lockdown, the government has appointed Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi—a 1987-batch IAS of Jharkand cadre—as the new Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Chaturvedi will replace Anand Kumar who has been assigned the Ministry of Culture.
Chaturvedi is a B.Tech from IIT Kanpur and postgraduate in international development from Harvard University (USA). In his recent portfolio, he served as the additional chief Secretary in the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, government of Jharkhand.
Commenting on the reshuffle, National Solar Energy Federation of India CEO Subrahmanyam Pulipaka told pv magazine: “Secretary Anand Kumar’s contribution to the renewable energy sector has been commendable. He has been instrumental in resolving many key issues of developers and worked closely with the industry to realise the vision to achieve India’s 175 GW RE target.”
“We are hopeful that the new incoming Secretary will strive towards realizing India’s RE goals.”
Some of the immediate challenges before Chaturvedi are payment delays to developers, power purchase agreement (PPA) renegotiations, and safeguard duty on imports of “solar cells whether or not assembled in modules or panels.”
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The deal is or should be between supplier and user. In this case the users are Discoms which are mostly under State Governments. Central interference in all matters creates more problems than solutions hampering the progress. Moreover power is a combined category that is both Central and State subject.
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