ADB in talks with Kerala government, KSEB on power sector reforms

Thiruvananthapuram: Asian Development Bank (ADB) representatives are holding discussions here with top functionaries of the Kerala state government and the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) today and tomorrow on issues pertaining to power sector reforms.

The focus of the discussions is expected to be the recommendations contained in the midterm report of ADB's consultants, Crysil and Nexant, which are currently engaged in a study of how the KSEB can be restructured.

The consultants, in their midterm report, had suggested 'unbundling and corporatisation of the KSEB' as the first step to the power sector revamp exercise. They had also hinted that there should be a policy decision on the part of the government in this respect.

One of the tasks assigned by ADB to its consultants was to draft a power sector reforms bill for the benefit of the state government. ADB's thinking, apparently, is that the reform measures should have legal backing. This issue is expected to figure prominently at the tripartite discussions.

The draft of the reforms bill, along with the final report of ADB, is scheduled to be presented to the government by the middle of next month.

As part of their report finalisation exercise, ADB consultants are organising a colloquium and a couple of seminars during the next few days to gather views from various sections on the suggestions contained in their midterm report.