Discoms’ Dues to Gencos Expands to Rs 1.23 Lakh Crore

Discoms’ Dues to Gencos Expands to Rs 1.23 Lakh Crore

Gencos total outstanding dues owed by Discoms rose nearly 63 percent to Rs 1.23 lakh crore in April 2020 over the same month previous year.

Discoms Dues Gencos

Power generators (Gencos) total outstanding dues owed by distribution companies (Discoms) rose nearly 63 percent to Rs 1.23 lakh crore in April 2020 over the same month previous year, reflecting stress in the sector.

Discoms owed a total of Rs 75,642 crore to power generation firms in April 2019, 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 April 2020, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 60 days of a grace period offered by generators, stood at Rs 1,08,487 crore as against Rs 58,200 crore in the same month of the preceding year.

According to the latest data on the portal, the total outstanding dues in April had increased over the preceding month. In March 2020, the total dues of Discoms stood at Rs 1,13,048 crore. The overdue amount in April 2020 also increased from Rs 1,01,181 crore in March 2020.

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 37 percent of the total overdue of Rs 1,08,387 crore of Discoms in January. The proportion of central PSU Gencos in the overdue was 35.47 percent.

Among the central public sector power generators, the NTPC alone has an overdue amount of Rs 19,138.38 crore on Discoms, followed by NLC India at Rs 6,246.22 crore, NHPC at Rs 3,668.41 crore, THDC India at Rs 2,384.70 crore and Damodar Valley Corporation at Rs 1,442.03 crore.

Among private generators, Discoms owe the highest overdue of 20,346.99 crore to Adani Power followed by RKMP (RKM Powergen) at Rs 3,421.68, Bajaj Group-owned Lalitpur Power Generation Company at Rs 3,187.25 crore and GMR at Rs 1,930.16 crore.

The overdue of non-conventional energy producers like solar and wind, stood at Rs 8,409.93 crore in April.

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.

Recently, the central government had given a moratorium to Discoms for paying dues to Gencos in view of COVID-19-induced lockdown, while also waiving off the penal charges for late payment of dues in the directive.

Last month, the government announced Rs 90,000 crore liquidity infusion for the ailing Discoms under which these utilities would get loans at economical rates from Power Finance Corporation and REC Ltd. This was an initiative of the government to help Gencos to remain afloat.

However, we had recently reported that the Rs 90,000 crore relief package for Discoms has been a non-starter as state governments are reluctant to extend guarantees on loans given to such Discoms.

Sources in PFC and REC, the agencies identified for liquidity injection into Discoms through loans on easy terms, said that very few proposals have come from distribution companies to get loans against receivables (from state governments) for paying back dues of generators. And a few that have come are not backed by state guarantees, and so become ineligible for disbursal under the terms of the scheme.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.