The Power Finance Corporation has provided a three-year loan of Rs 36 billion to the four state distribution companies of Uttar Pradesh for laying infrastructure for new connections. This loan amount is the largest ever to be offered by PFC to distribution companies. The Uttar Pradesh discoms will use the amount to provide new connections to 1.14 million households in remote areas. In a separate development, PFC plans to raise Rs 700 billion in debt during 2017-18, through a mix of external commercial bonds, rupee-denominated masala bonds and other instruments. Meanwhile, the financier is looking to shift its lending portfolio from conventional energy to other segments such as transmission, last-mile distribution infrastructure and renewable energy, due to lagging power demand and rising non-performing assets in the thermal power segment.