Discom Debt Rises to Over Rs 109,000 crore in March: Power Ministry

Highlights :

  • The Discoms in India owe Rs 109,640 crore to the power generators as of today.
  • Data shows that both total overdue and current overdue of discoms have been rising steadily since September, 2021.
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The PRAAPTI portal of the Ministry of Power has revealed the debt of the power distribution companies is rising fast. Overall Discom debt levels, far from dropping, continues to rise. PRAAPTI stands for Payment Ratification and analysis in power procurement for bringing transparency in invoicing of generators. 

The data reveals that at the end of March, 2022, the discoms overdues have risen to Rs 109,640 crore. PRAAPTI portal also discloses that the overdue amount against discoms at the start of March was 103,027 crore.

The power distributors have paid just 10,863 crore against the overdue invoices. The power generators have billed a total of Rs 14,484 crore in March. The payment made by discoms against the current dues is Rs 3,353 crore.

Overdue Amount to Generators

Source: Praapti Portal

The total overdue and current overdue fell until September 2021 but have been on a steady rise since then.

Discoms’ highest overdue is against the independent power producers (IIPs) which is 52.27% followed by CPSEs (22.8%), Renewable Energy (19.05%) and TRANSCOs (5.88%). The amount that discoms have contested with the power producers is highest in the case of IIPs at Rs 20,348 crore. Excluding disputed amounts, they owe Rs 57,309 crore to the IIPs at present.

The data also shows that the current overdue in March has fallen sharply from the last month.

PRAAPTI has coded the states of Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Meghalaya in ‘RED’ – as worst performing states – because their the ratio of ‘overdues of current month’ to the ‘rolling monthly average billing for the last 12 months’ stands beyond 12 months (frequency of clearing invoices). Andhra Pradesh has a total outstanding debt of Rs 9,564 crore.

The industrial states of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have outstanding dues of Rs 22,848 crore and Rs 19,779 crore in March. Gujarat, on the other hand, has total outstanding billing of Rs 710 crore but no current overdues.

PRAAPTI stands for ‘Payment Ratification and Analysis in Power Procurement for Bringing Transparency in Invoicing of Generators’ which was launched by the Power Ministry to add transparency to the payments by electricity distribution companies to power generators.

Through PRAAPTI, discoms can clear the bills raised against them but also reply to the claims made by the power generators. The portal compares and ranks states of India based on their overdue and frequency of clearing their bills.

Multiple interventions have been made since 2020 to reduce discom debt, in the form of debt relief schemes, but with limited impact, as can be seen.

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