The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Tuesday approved asset monetisation of subsidiaries of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) through infrastructure investment trust which would help the firm garner Rs 7,000 crore in the first lot.
“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a path breaking reform, has approved monetisation of assets of POWERGRID through Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) model,” an official statement said.
According to the statement, this is the first time any PSU in the power sector will undertake asset recycling by monetising its assets through the InvIT model and using the proceeds to fund the new and under-construction capital projects.
This approval would help the PGCIL to monetise in the first lot, assets with gross block value of more than Rs 7,000 crore. These assets, which are mainly high voltage transmission lines and substations, are held by POWERGRID in form of special purpose vehicles (SPVs). The proceeds from the asset monetisation would be deployed by POWERGRID in their new and under-construction projects. The PGCIL, a public limited company under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power, is engaged in the business of power transmission.
The company, along with its wholly-owned subsidiaries acquired through the Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) process, owns and operates a pan India transmission network. Based on the experience gained, further monetisation shall be carried out in future, the statement said.
Asset recycling is a key strategy of the Government of India to release the capital invested in operational assets and the proposed InvIT of the PGCIL would attract both domestic as well as global investors including Sovereign Wealth Funds. Sale of assets to InvITs is a way of accessing long term, relatively cheap finance required to fund infrastructure projects in the transmission sector.
The capital expenditure plan of Power Grid for 2020-21 and 2021-22 is Rs 20,500 crore. The Government of India has enacted an enabling regulatory and taxation framework for InvITs and the proposed InvIT by PGCIL would deepen this market. The InvIT would provide an opportunity to the general public and institutional investors such as Pension Funds, Mutual Funds, to benefit from this investment opportunity and participate in the growth of Indian Infrastructure Sector, the statement said.