REC (Rural Electrification Corporation), was incorporated on July 25, 1969 under the Companies Act 1956. REC is a wholly owned Government of India Public Sector Enterprise with a net worth of over Rs. 11104.25 Crore as on 31-03-2010. Its main objective is to finance and promote rural electrification projects all over the country besides providing assistance for generation projects, transmission and distribution projects. It provides financial assistance to State Electricity Boards, State Government Departments and Rural Electric Cooperatives for rural electrification projects as are sponsored by them.
REC is a Navratna Company functioning under the purview of the Ministry of Power – Government of India. The company is listed on both National Stock Exchange of India and Bombay Stock Exchange.
REC was set up in July 1969, in the backdrop of a critical drought situation facing India in the late sixties. The company’s initial mandate was mainly to help State Electricity Boards energise pump-sets across the country to boost agriculture and overcome the crippling impact of three successive years of deficient monsoons. The company also provided finance to accelerate the pace of rural electrification in the overall context of planned programmes for increased agricultural production. Besides finance, REC also offered appraising, consultancy, technical support and monitoring of projects, to assist State Electricity Boards/Power Utilities, Rural Electric Cooperatives and other such institutions.
Liberalisation by the Government of India (GoI) in 1991 saw introduction of amendments to existing laws and reform measures enabling the private sector to participate in large-scale in manufacturing industry, services industry and infrastructure. Sectors like power, airports, seaports, roadways, projects were identified for private participation, and nodal agencies were set up to do the initial spade work and later hand over such projects to private players through competitive bidding routes. In April 2006, GoI identified 14 transmission projects worth ₹200 billion for development by 2012. REC was identified as one of the two GoI-appointed nodal agencies for transferring identified projects to private developers. REC also started extending loans to manufacturers of T&D equipment.
Till 2000, REC focused on the Transmission and Distribution aspect of power, with projects for household electrification in rural and semi-urban areas, area electrification in tribal/ dalit areas, intensive electrification, and system improvement projects based on strengthening and improving transmission, sub transmission and distribution systems. REC’s portfolio of Generation projects constituted mainly Mini/Micro Generation Projects up to 25MW capacity till 2000. In June 2002, the mandate of REC was expanded to include financing of all generation projects without limit on size or location. Today, financing of Generation projects has become a major thrust-area of operations for REC, also attracting majority of its private sector borrowers.
REC has systematically diversified into new and emerging areas of potential in the power business, and is today a major player in India’s power financing business with robust presence in all three functional areas of the power sector: generation, transmission and distribution. In coming years, REC plans to invest heavily on financing of New and Renewable Energy, De-centralised Distributed Generation (DDG) and modernisation of T&D systems for optimisation of reliable power supply to remote/ difficult rural and urban areas including hill, desert, tribal, riverine areas etc.