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MNRE to set up Dispute Resolution Committee for solar, wind power developers

The Solar and Wind Industries have been demanding for setting up of Dispute Resolution Mechanism by MNRE for quite some time, to resolve expeditiously, unforeseen disputes that may arise beyond the scope of Contractual Agreements between solar power developers/ wind power developers and SECI/ NTPC.

Looking into the demand the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has now decided to set up a three-member Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) to look at unforeseen disputes that may arise in implementation of contractual agreements and also for issues beyond the scope of Contractual Agreements.

“The issue has been considered and it is felt that there is a need to erect a transparent, unbiased dispute resolution mechanism consisting of an independent, transparent and unbiased DRC,” the ministry said in an office order.

The panel will be set up with the approval of the renewable energy minister and consist of “eminent persons of impeccable integrity”.

The upper age for the DRC members shall be 70 years and they will be chosen from the persons located in NCR of Delhi to avoid expenditure on air travel and accommodation. The order said the selection of DRC Members would be such that there is no conflict of interest involved.

The DRC will consider all cases of appeal against decisions given by SECI on Extension of Time requests based on the terms of contract and also all the requests of Extension of Time not covered under the contractual terms. 

“The DRC will examine all such cases referred to it including the cases where the developer is not satisfied with the decision of SECI or NTPC and it decides to appeal after paying the required fee in a time bound manner and submit its recommendations to MNRE not later than 21 days from the date of reference,” the order stated. The recommendations of the DRC along with MNRE’s observations will be placed before the renewable energy minister for final decision. 

DRC members will be paid Rs 4,000 per sitting, not exceeding Rs 20,000 per member per case referred. Its meetings will be held in the premises of SECI and NTPC.