Discoms' dues rising
Discoms in Rajasthan, UP, J&K, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu account for the major portion of dues to gencos, the data showed
New Delhi: Total outstanding dues owed by electricity distribution companies (discoms) to power producers rose 1.3 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1,13,227 crore in December.
Discoms owed total Rs1,11,762 crore to power generation firms in December 2020, according to portal PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators). Total dues in December 2021 also increased sequentially compared to Rs1,13,081 crore in November this year. The PRAAPTI portal was launched in May 2018 to bring in transparency in power purchase transactions between generators and discoms. In December 2021, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 45 days of grace period offered by generators, stood at Rs 1,01,436 crore as against Rs 98,334 crore in the same month a year ago. The overdue amount stood at Rs 1,00,417 crore in November this year. Power producers give 45 days to discoms to pay bills for electricity supply. After that, outstanding dues become overdue and generators charge penal interest on that in most cases. To give relief to power generation companies (gencos), the Centre enforced a payment security mechanism from August 1, 2019.
Under this mechanism, discoms are required to open letters of credit for getting power supply. The Centre had also given some breathers to discoms for paying dues to Gencos in view of the Covid-19-induced lockdown. The government had also waived penal charges for the late payment of dues. In May 2020, the government had announced a Rs 90,000-crore liquidity infusion for discoms under which these utilities got loans at economical rates from Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and REC Ltd. This was a government initiative to help gencos remain afloat. Later, the liquidity infusion package was increased to Rs 1.2 lakh crore and further to Rs 1.35 lakh crore. Discoms in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu account for the major portion of dues to gencos, the data showed. Overdue of independent power producers amounted to 51.18 per cent of the total overdue of Rs 1,01,436 crore of discoms in December 2021. The proportion of central PSU gencos in the overdue was 23.95 per cent. Among the central public sector gencos, NTPC alone has an overdue amount of Rs 4,344.75 crore on discoms, followed by NLC India at Rs 2,772.47 crore in December 2021.