Discoms' Outstanding Dues To Power Generators Rise 47% In June
Utility and power cables hang from a pole in the Khilona Wala Bagh slum cluster in New Delhi. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Discoms' Outstanding Dues To Power Generators Rise 47% In June

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Power producers' total outstanding dues owed by distribution firms rose over 47% year-on-year to Rs 1.33 lakh crore in June, reflecting stress in the sector.

The distribution companies owed a total of Rs 90,655 crore to power generation firms in June 2019, according to Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators.

The portal Praapti was launched in May 2018 to bring in transparency in power purchase transactions between the generators and discoms.

In June 2020, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 60 days of grace period offered by generators, stood at Rs 1,20,041 crore, against Rs 72,362 crore in the year-ago period.

According to the latest data on the portal, total outstanding dues in June has increased over the previous month. In May 2020, total dues of discoms stood at Rs 1,26,963 crore.

The overdue amount in June also increased from Rs 1,13,869 crore in May 2020.

Power producers give 60 days to discoms for paying bills for the supply of electricity. After that, outstanding dues become overdue and generators charge penal interest on that in most cases.

In order to give relief to power generation companies, the central government enforced a payment security mechanism from Aug. 1, 2019. Under this mechanism, discoms are required to open letters of credit for getting power supply.

The central government had given some breathers to discoms for paying dues to power generating companies in view of the Covid-19-induced lockdown. The government had also waived the penal charges for late payment of dues in the directive.

In May, the government announced Rs 90,000-crore liquidity infusion for discoms under which these utilities would get loan at economical rates from Power Finance Corp. and REC Ltd. This was an initiative of the government to help power generators to remain afloat.

The government reportedly is in the process to increase liquidity infusion package to Rs 1.25 lakh crore after it received requests from some states in this regard.

Discoms in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu account for the major portion of dues to power generators, the data showed.

Overdues of independent power producers amount to 34.78% of the total overdue of Rs 1,20,041 crore of discoms in June. The proportion of central PSU power generators in the overdue was 36.58%.

Among the central public sector power generators, NTPC Ltd. alone has an overdue amount of Rs 19,298.77 crore on discoms, followed by NLC India at Rs 6,280.76 crore, Damodar Valley Corp. at Rs 5,570.99 crore, NHPC at Rs 3,518.97 crore and THDC India at Rs 2,551.32 crore.

Among private generators, discoms owe the highest overdue of Rs 22,319.41 crore to Adani Power followed by Bajaj Group-owned Lalitpur Power Generation Co. Ltd at Rs 3,884.91 crore, SEMB (Sembcorp) Rs 2,210.22 crore and GMR at Rs 1,930.16 crore.

The overdue of non-conventional energy producers like solar and wind, stood at Rs 10,111.33 crore in June.

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