MUMBAI: In a bid to save the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Limited (RGPL) from becoming a non-performing asset (NPA), the Maharashtra government on Monday exempted the company from having to pay value added tax (VAT), central sales tax (CST) and transmission charges (TC) for the last five years.
Long in the doldrums, RGPL used to be known as Dabhol Power Corporation when it was promoted by the scam-tainted American corporation Enron. The central and state governments are attempting to revive it with what is called the Power System Development Fund.
The company is groaning under a debt burden of Rs 8000 crore and this retrospective waiver is likely to ease the burden on the company, said a senior official in the chief minister's office.
In another decision taken today, the cabinet meeting under the leadership of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis decided to amend the Maharashtra Prohibition Act of 2016 to facilitate the setting up of gram rakshak dals to curb illicit liquor. Social activist Anna Hazare has been demanding this.
Similarly, the cabinet also approved the Kondhane dam project in Karjat in Raigad district to be handed over to CIDCO. The dam under the NAINA project is supposed to supply water to 270 villages around the proposed new international airport in Navi Mumbai.
During the previous Congress-NCP government, the Kondhane project had come under the scanner of the Anti-Corruption Branch as part of a major irrigation scam. With an aim to raise the project's priority status, the cabinet decided to change the purpose of the dam from irrigation to drinking.
The cabinet also decided to strengthen the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme in 15 districts with a spend of Rs 210.96 crore. The state's share of this will be Rs 50.52 crore. ICDS is a welfare program that provides food, preschool education and primary healthcare to children under six. Several districts had last year witnessed a spike in child and maternal mortality due to malnourishment.