Power companies: Unpaid dues from Discoms to gencos rise 4% to Rs 1,21,765 crore in May

Total unpaid contributions from power distribution companies to power generators increased by 4.04% year-on-year to Rs 1,21,765 crore in May 2022, according to official data. Discoms owed a total of Rs 1,17,026 crore to power generation companies in May 2021, according to the PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power Procurement for bring Transparency in Invoicing of generators) portal.

Also on a sequential basis, total dues in May 2022 increased from Rs 1,20,954 crore in April 2022. The PRAAPTI portal was launched in May 2018 to bring transparency in power purchase transactions between producers and discoms.

In May 2022, the total outstanding amount, which has not been settled even after 45 days of a grace period offered by the generators, stood at Rs 1,06,902 crore against Rs 94,354 crore the same month ago one year old. The outstanding amount stood at Rs 1,06,071 crore as of April 2022.

Electricity producers give discoms 45 days to pay electricity supply bills. After that, the unpaid dues become overdue and the producers charge interest on that in most cases.

To relieve electricity generation companies (gencos), the Center has set up a payment security mechanism from August 1, 2019. As part of this mechanism, discoms are required to open letters of credit to get the power supply.

The Center had also given discoms some breathing room for paying dues to gencos due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown. The government had also waived criminal charges for late payment of contributions.

In May 2020, the government had announced a cash injection of Rs 90,000 crore for discoms under which these utilities secured loans at economical rates from Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and REC Ltd. This was a government initiative to help gencos stay afloat. Later, the cash infusion package was increased to Rs 1.2 lakh crore and later to Rs 1.35 lakh crore.

Discoms in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu account for the bulk of genco dues in April, the data shows.

The arrears of independent power producers amounted to 55.86% of the total arrears of Rs 1,06,902 crore from discoms. The proportion of late central PSU gencos was 22.35%.

Among the central public sector gencos, NTPC alone has an outstanding amount of Rs 5,072.82 crore, followed by NPCIL – Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant at Rs 3,419.78

crore and DVC at Rs 3,398.57 crore in May 2022.

Among private generators, discoms owe the highest outstanding amount of Rs 25,284.67 crore to Adani Power, followed by KSK Mahanadi Power Company Ltd at Rs 5,324.32 crore and group-owned Lalitpur Power Generation Company Bajaj, at Rs 5,308.29 crore.

The backlog of renewable energy producers stood at Rs 20,127.16 crore in May 2022. PTI KKS MR

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