Power producers' total outstanding dues owed by distribution firms jumped nearly 50 per cent to Rs 88,177 crore in December 2019 over the same month previous year, reflecting stress in the sector. Distribution companies (discoms) owed a total of Rs 59,015 crore to power generation companies in December 2018, according to portal PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators).
The portal was launched in May 2018 to bring in transparency in power purchase transactions between the generators and discoms. In December 2019, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 60 days of grace period offered by generators, stood at Rs 78,174 crore as against Rs 44,464 crore in the same month of the preceding year.
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 (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.
According to the latest data on the portal, outstanding dues in December has also increased over the preceding month. In November 2019, total outstanding dues on discoms stood at Rs 82,414 crore. The overdue amount in November has also increased over the preceding month. The total overdue amount was Rs 73,175 crore in November 2019.
Discoms in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu account for the major portion of dues to power gencos, the data showed. Overdues of independent power producers amount to 25.45 per cent of the total overdue of Rs 78,174 crore on discoms in December.
Among the central public sector power generators, NTPC alone has an overdue amount of Rs 15,695.65 crore on discoms, followed by NLC India at Rs 5,010.69 crore, NHPC at Rs 3,165.09 crore, THDC India at Rs 2,136.30 crore and Damodar Valley Corporation at Rs 822.09 crore. Among private generators, discoms owe the highest overdue of Rs 3,201.68 crore to Adani Power, followed by Bajaj Group-owned Lalitpur Power Generation Company Ltd at Rs 2,212.66 crore and GMR at Rs 1,930.16 crore. The overdue of non-conventional energy producers like solar and wind, stood at Rs 6,739.47 crore in December.
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