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Report | July 2014

Enlightening rural India

Until now, Rural Electrification Corporation has electrified nearly 17,000 villages and has provided free electricity connections to more than 2.16 crore BPL households.

REC is a nodal agency for the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), a flagship scheme of the Government of India, which aims at electrifying all villages and habitations, and giving electricity connections to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, free of charge.

Past performance
REC has supported electrification of around 17,357 villages during FY14, taking the cumulative figure to around 4.14 lakh villages. Besides this, free electricity connections have been provided to more than 2.16 crore BPL households till date under 648 projects sanctioned in the X and XI Five Year Plan that covers 579 districts in 27 States in the country. In addition to this, the Cabinet has approved continuation of RGGVY programme in the XII and XIII Plan periods and sanctioned Rs 35,447 crore to cover all the spillover works from the X and XI Plans and for electrification of villages and habitations having population of 100 and above.

During FY13, REC has been able to achieve a new level of excellence with over 30 per cent growth in disbursements, income and profits after tax, while steadily maintaining recoveries and containing NPAs at a minimal level. The growth is fairly spread-out in all segments, i.e., generation, transmission, distribution of power and renewable energy.

Future perfect
So far 273 projects have been sanctioned under the XII Plan at a total cost of Rs 23,594.3 crore. Further, REC is also providing support for implementation of e-Centralised Distributed Generation (DDG) projects, using conventional or renewable sources such as biomass, biogas, biofuel, mini-hydro, solar etc, for villages where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective. So far REC has sanctioned 719 projects in 12 States for 9,244 kW for a sanction cost of Rs 349.39 crore which will benefit 1,293 non-grid connected villages/hamlets and 43,424 BPL households. The asset size of the company in FY13 stands at Rs 1.30 lakh crore. Going forward, REC will make all efforts and harness all resources to capture optimal share of funding business of the estimated debt requirement of around Rs 14 lakh crore for the 12th Five Year Plan.

CSR footprint
The company, during the financial year 2013-14, has allocated 1 per cent of PAT towards its CSR budget. By this fund, REC has undertaken CSR initiatives like skill development/upgradation and job-oriented training, leading to creation of livelihood opportunities for 2,500 rural/ semi-urban youth from SC/ST/OBC, economically weaker sections of society, including women from backward areas of UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and MP and providing customised vehicles for cooked food to government schools in Rajasthan, setting up of 80 libraries in government schools in Uttarakhand, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, supporting solar lighting service to 30 villages each in Assam and Odisha. It also distributed aids and appliances to persons with disabilities in UP, MP, AP, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Assam.

Challenges
Electrifying rural areas is a challenging work as rolling out of wires and systems is hampered due to many issues such as river crossing, delay in land acquisition, forest clearance, remote areas, right of way, LWE impact, absence of backward linkage etc. Besides, poor performance of turnkey contractors and non availability of competent local contractors further hamper the progress. Where is REC heading? The company looks forward to expand its financial mandate by funding activities having backward and forward linkage with the power sector such as fuel supply chains, development of coal fields and mining activities, etc. REC will continue to be a major player as far as power sector lending is concerned.

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