Cabinet nod to provide budgetary support to Meghalaya power corp to repay loan

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Shillong, Jun 9 (PTI) The Meghalaya cabinet has on Wednesday approved 100 per cent budgetary support to the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) for repayment of Rs 1,345 crore loan on conditions that certain targets be met in a time-bound manner, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said.

The loan was taken by the cash-starved MeECL in an attempt to pay outstanding dues to the power generation companies which have been pending for the past 10 years.

The Cabinet approved the proposal following assurances given by the power department and MeECL management to bring reforms in the corporation.

'(We have) decided that we will give a chance to the MeECL and to the power department with 100 per cent budgetary support for the #Atmanirbhar loan. This support will come along with certain targets that need to be met in a time-bound manner,' Sangma told reporters after the meeting.

The CM said that the finance and power departments have been asked to work out details of the targets which the MeECL has to achieve.

There has to be some security in terms of mortgage of MeECL assets to the state government, he said.

The Rural Electrification Corporation Power Distribution Company (RECPDCL) and the Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC) had put certain conditions on the government of Meghalaya and the MeECL while disbursing the loan.

There were stiff oppositions from several quarters including alliance partners and even MLAs of ruling National People's Party against the move to lease out distribution circles of the MeECL to the RECPDCL for a period of 25 years.

'We will inform the REC and the PFC that 100 per cent budgetary support will be given by the state government,' he said.

'We have received the first tranche of the loan and before releasing the second tranche which again is Rs 600 crore plus. The REC and PFC have given two options,' Sangma said.

The options are either the state gives full budgetary support for the repayment of the loan along with interest or provides it with a partial budgetary support along with certain restructuring within the MeECL, he said. PTI JOP NN NN

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