Hyderabad: In a relief to cash strapped infrastructure developer Lanco Infratech, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh power utilities to refund about Rs 175 crore of minimum alternate tax (MAT) collected from Lanco Kondapalli Power (LKPL) from 2001.
Confirming the court’s orders upholding orders passed by the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL), a senior Lanco Kondapally executive said the issue involved reimbursement of MAT from 2001 to 2012. “The erstwhile AP power utilities had disputed reimbursement of MAT arguing that MAT cannot be treated as income tax and that only income tax will only be reimbursed as per the power purchase agreement (PPA) entered into in March 1997 while calculating the tariff,” he told ET.
“Further, the AP power utilities had also argued that our claims for reimbursement of taxes should not be entertained due to delays in claims under the provisions of the Limitation Act,” said the executive, requesting not to be identified since he was not authorised to speak to the media.
This comes close on the heels of a slew of respites the infrastructure builder got over the past few weeks. These include lenders approving cost overruns of nearly 30 per cent for four power projects of Rs 33,000 crore and Supreme Court directing Coal India to supply fuel for 300MW capacity at Amarkantak and Power Grid to set up transmission links.
The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) had through earlier orders directed the AP power utilities to reimburse the MAT payments from 2006 till 2012, finding that Lanco was not eligible to claim reimbursement before 2006 owing to delays.
“Lanco moved the APTEL contesting the orders of APERC and claiming reimbursement for the entire period of 2001-2012 and obtained favourable orders.”
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