Power producers’ total outstanding dues owed by distribution firms rose nearly 32 per cent to Rs 88,311 crore in January 2020 over the same month previous year, reflecting stress in the sector.
Distribution companies (discoms) owed a total of Rs 67,012 crore to power generation companies in January 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 January 2020, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 60 days of grace period offered by generators, stood at Rs 76,192 crore as against Rs 51,453 crore in the same month of the preceding year.
According to the latest data on the portal, outstanding dues in January has decreased over the preceding month. In December 2019, the total dues of discoms stood at Rs 86,948 crore.
However, the overdue amount in January increased over the preceding month, from Rs 75,930 crore in December 2019.
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.
The central government has given three months moratorium to discoms for paying dues to power generating companies (gencos) in view of lockdown till April 14 to contain COVID-19 across the country. The government has also waived off the penal charges for late payment of dues in the directive issued earlier this week.
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 25.94 per cent of the total overdue of Rs 76,192 crore of discoms in January. The proportion of PSU gencos in the overdue was 39 per cent.
Among the central public sector power generators, 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 highest overdue of 3,421.68 crore to RKMP (RKM Powergen Pvt Ltd) followed by Adani Power at Rs 3,201.68 crore, 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 6,618.20 crore in January.