Discoms’ Dues to Gencos Rises to Rs 1.38 Lakh Crore in September

The dues owed by Discoms to power Gencos increased to Rs 1.38 lakh crore in September 2020, witnessing a 28 percent rise over the same month last year.

The dues owed by distribution companies (Discoms) to power generators (Gencos) increased to Rs 1,38,479 crore (Rs 1.38 lakh crore) in September 2020, witnessing a 28 percent rise year on year over the same month last year. Discoms owed a total of Rs 1,07,930 crore to Gencos in September 2019, according to portal PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators).

In September 2020, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 45 days of grace period offered by generators, stood at Rs 1,26,661 crore, as against Rs 85,790 crore in the year-ago period. The overdue amount in September 2020 has increased from Rs 1,22,090 crore in August 2020. Power producers give 45 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.

According to the latest data on the portal, total outstanding dues in September increased on a month-on-month basis as well. In August 2020, total outstanding dues of discoms stood at Rs 1,34,928 crore.

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

Overdues of independent power producers amount to 32.79 percent of the total overdue of Rs 1,26,661 crore of Discoms in September. The proportion of central PSU Gencos in the overdue was 37.18 percent.

Among the central public sector power generators, NTPC alone has an overdue amount of Rs 22,235.02 crore on Discoms, followed by NLC India at Rs 6,770.20 crore, Damodar Valley Corporation at Rs 5,662.10 crore, NHPC at Rs 3,579.06 crore and THDC India at Rs 2,017.66 crore.

Among private generators, Discoms owe the highest overdue of Rs 20,153.16 crore to Adani Power followed by Bajaj Group-owned Lalitpur Power Generation Company at Rs 2,957 crore, GMR at Rs 1,930.16 crore and SEMB (Sembcorp) Rs 1,697.85 crore.

The overdue of non-conventional energy producers like solar and wind stood at Rs 10,680.28 crore in September.

In order to give relief to 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. The central government had also given some breathers to Discoms for paying dues to power Gencos in view of COVID-19-induced lockdown. The government had also waived 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 its non-banking financial institutions in Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and REC Ltd. This was an initiative of the government to help Gencos and Discoms to remain afloat. Later the liquidity infusion package was increased to Rs 1.2 lakh crore.

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