Details About MNRE’s Dispute Resolution Committee and Amendments

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has announced the formation of Dispute Resolution Committee and amendments

The government will by next week make functional a dispute resolution committee which would settle disputes of solar and wind energy projects beyond contractual agreements within 3 weeks or 21 days.

In June this year, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had issued an ordered for setting up a Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) to consider unforeseen disputes between solar or wind power developers and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and state-run power giant NTPC beyond contractual agreements.

The committee will hear all such cases of solar/wind projects being implemented through SECI as well as NTPC.

Commenting on this development, Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh said, “A neutral and fair Dispute Resolution Mechanism is one of the most important steps for ensuring ease of doing business. We have set up a transparent Dispute Resolution Mechanism in the renewable energy sector. This will increase the pace of installation of renewable energy capacity in our country.”

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In June this year, the MNRE formed a three-member dispute resolution committee (DRC) comprising M F Farooqui (former DOT secretary, heavy industry secretary), Anil Swarup (former coal secretary, school education secretary) and A K Dubey (former sports secretary).

Under MNRE’s guidelines, SECI and NTPC have been mandated to provide a secretariat for DRC. SECI and NTPC will make available one officer each, not below the rank of general manager, who shall function as the secretary of the committee.

The committee shall meet at least once every week, provided there are cases or applications pending before it for resolution. The secretary would ensure that the meetings of DRC are convened in a manner and frequency that can ensure adherence to 21 days period kept for the decision on a case.

In cases where the DRC is unable to give a decision within the time frame of 21 days, the secretary shall inform MNRE in this regard and the ministry may provide an additional 14 days within which the DRC will have to make a decision.

MNRE also released some amendments regarding the DRM on September 23, 2019:

  1. In case of all disputes, whether covered by PPA or not, the application will have to be made first to SECl/NTPC. SECI/ NTPC would pass speaking orders on such requests, even in situations not covered by PPA, so that the aim of setting up renewable projects are achieved. If the applicant party is not satisfied with the orders of SECl/NTPC, then it can appeal to the DRC.
  2. All requests for extension of time due to recognized ‘Force Majeure’ events like flood, earthquake, delay in handing over of land by Solar Park Developers, delay in connectivity, etc. will be dealt strictly as per Contractual Agreements, where applicable.
  3. If there is no time limit prescribed in the PPA for making such an application, then the application must be made within seven days of the cause of dispute taking place on the first occasion.

For more information on the amendments click here

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