At least nine firms eye taking over power distribution business in Puducherry

At least nine firms, including Italy’s Enel Group, the Adani Group owned by billionaire Gautam Adani, Torrent Power Ltd, Greenko, ReNew Power Ventures, Sterlite Power, and state-run NTPC Ltd, are interested in taking over the electricity distribution functions of Puducherry, according to two people aware of the development.

The other firms eyeing the electricity distribution privatization plan of Puducherry are Kolkata-based RP-Sanjiv Goenka group’s CESC Ltd and Tata Power Co. Ltd. The request for proposal (RFP) is likely to be floated next month.

Deloitte is running the sale process for the Puducherry electricity department with the electricity distribution company (discom) to be carved out before the handover.

The plan has been referred to the Union home ministry after facing opposition. Unlike discoms run by state governments, discoms for Union territories are administered by the Centre. “The decks have been cleared. A meeting of the empowered committee is expected to be called shortly. The committee will also have a central government representative and will decide upon floating the RFP for divesting 100% stake,” said one of the two people mentioned above requesting anonymity.

Mint reported earlier about India’s plan to privatize electricity discoms in Union territories. India is working to privatize discoms for eight Union territories, the plans for which were articulated by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman when she announced the fourth tranche of the ₹20 trillion stimulus package to tackle the economic crisis that followed the coronavirus outbreak.

A Deloitte spokesperson in an emailed response said, “We are bound by confidentiality obligations and are unable to comment on client-specific matters.”

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