Discoms' outstanding dues to power gencos rise nearly 32% in January

Total unpaid electricity producers’ fees owed by distribution companies increased by almost 32 percent to Rs 88,311 crore in January 2020 compared to the same month the previous year, reflecting tensions in the sector.

The distribution companies (discoms) owed a total of 67,012 crore rupees to the electricity production companies in January 2019, according to the portal PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power Procurement for bring Transparency in Invoicing of generators).

The portal was launched in May 2018 to provide transparency in electricity purchase transactions between generators and discoms.

In January 2020, the total amount in arrears, which was not cleared even after 60 days of grace period offered by the generators, amounted to Rs 76,192 crore against Rs 51,453 crore the same month of the previous year.

According to the latest data from the portal, contribution arrears in January decreased compared to the previous month. In December 2019, the total amount of discom contributions amounted to Rs 86,948 crore.

However, the amount past due in January increased compared to the previous month, rising from Rs 75,930 crore in December 2019.

Electricity producers give discoms 60 days to pay utility bills. After that, the overdue contributions are overdue and the producers charge criminal interest on this in most cases.

In order to relieve power generation companies (gencos), the Center has implemented a payment security mechanism from August 1, 2019. Under this mechanism, discoms are required to open letters of credit to get a power supply.

The central government has granted discoms a three-month moratorium on the payment of dues to power generation companies (gencos) with a view to closing until April 14 to contain COVID-19 across the country. The government also canceled criminal charges for late payment of dues in the directive released earlier this week.

The discoms of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu account for most of the contributions to electric gencos, according to the data.

The delays in production by independent electricity producers represent 25.94% of the total amount of 76,192 crores of discomfort in late in January. The proportion of PSU gencos in arrears was 39%.

Among the generators of the central public sector, the NTPC alone has an overdue amount of Rs 11,007.50 crore on discoms, followed by NLC India at Rs 4,731.13 crore, Damodar Valley Corporation at Rs 4,614.49 crore, NHPC at Rs 2,548.85 crore and THDC India at Rs 2,129.53 crore.

Among private generators, discoms owe the greatest delay of 3,421.68 crore to RKMP (RKM Powergen Pvt Ltd), followed by Adani Power to Rs 3,201.68 crore, Lalitpur Power Generation Company Ltd belonging to Bajaj Group at Rs 2,212.66 crore and GMR at Rs 1,930.16 crore.

The delay of producers of unconventional energy such as solar and wind, amounted to Rs 6,618.20 crore in January.

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