People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 27

July 13 , 2008







23rd report of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy on Demand for Grants of the Department of Atomic Energy for the year 1995-96



Recommendation No. 10


THE Department of Atomic Energy in 1984 had set for itself a target of 10,000 MW of nuclear power capacity by the turn of the century. To meet the requirements in this regard advance action was taken after all cabinet approvals had been granted.  Consequently for procuring various items indigenously orders were also placed it, however, appears that the programme has since been abandoned (emphasis added). The present programme is to achieve a total nuclear installed generating capacity of 2820 MW by the year 1997.  The Committee feel that this abandoning of the action plan had many adverse consequences. A great deal of damage has been done to our indigenous effort and to the industry. The Committee are of the view that a complete explanation on this matter is owed by the government.  The Committee’s views about Nuclear Power, as an answer to our power shortage have been explicitly stated may times.  The Committee, therefore, while demanding such an explanation recommend that adequate, and needed budgetary support must be provided to meet the requirements of nuclear power programmes of the DAE.


Reply of Govt


The nuclear power profile of the Department formulated in 1984 projected an installed capacity of 10,000 MW by 2000 A.D.  When the profile was approved in principle in 1985, by the government of India there were only five operating reactors with an installed capacity of 840 MW.  In order to step up this capacity to 10,000 MW in the next fifteen years (by 2000 AD), it was projected at that time that the programme would require an investment of about Rs 14,000 crores (based on 1983 prices) for nuclear power and related facilities.  The outlays during VII, VIII and IX Plan period projected were Rs 3809 crores, Rs 7381 crores and Rs 2384 crores respectively as per this profile.  However, for the VII  Plan for nuclear power sector government approved an outlay of only Rs.2010 crores.


With a view to mobilise adequate resources for the power programme, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) was formed in September, 1987. It was excepted that extra budgetary resources would also be raised which would accelerate the nuclear power programme.  At the time of formation of the Corporation it was agreed that the funding of future projects including works in progress and interest during construction would be in the form of 50 per cent as government equity and 50 per cent as loan.  The equity portion of budgetary support amounting to 50 per cent of the Project cost was to be released first and utilized.  However, due to financial constraints the Government could not adhere to this commitment.  The NPCIL since its inception ahs mobilized Rs.2883 crores from the market through Bonds to support the nuclear power programme.  As the resource crunch became more acute the Corporation had difficulties in further resources mobilization from the market and the Department had to reduce the target.


The principled stand taken by India regarding signing of the Non-proliferation Treaty and the consequent restrictions placed by the Nuclear Supplier’s Club on supply of safety related and other equipment to this country and their insistence on application of comprehensive safeguards as a pre-requisite for supplies have forced the Department to develop indigenous technology and capability in the nuclear field. The indigenisation efforts have necessarily to be time consuming. These have also contributed to the slow pace of implementation of the power projects.


As the budgetary support by government is being reduced from year to year and the inability of the Corporation to raise adequate Extra Budgetary Resources from the open market coupled with the problems mentioned above, the targets set earlier could not be achieved by the year 2000.  Increase in contribution in power generation will emerge only with the availability of adequate resource in the coming years.  The Planning Commission, have, however, indicated that all out efforts will continue to be made to augment the budgetary support to the extent possible within the overall resources constraints.


Comments of the Committee

…. Not accepted


The Committee have in a separate report dealt with the adverse implications of abandoning the Nuclear Power Programme formulated earlier. The Committee would, however, reiterate that adequate and needed budgetary support must be provided to meet the requirements of Nuclear Programme of the DAE.