Companies

At Rs 13,000 cr, Coal India dues are double monthly sales

Pratim Ranjan Bose Kolkata. Aug. 8 | Updated on March 12, 2018

Power majors NTPC, DVC main defaulters





It’s a ‘power’ game that cost Coal India Ltd Rs 90 crore in profit during the April-June 2013 quarter.

A set of Central and State government-owned generation utilities have for months held back payments of around Rs 7,000 crore for coal purchased from CIL. This is besides the Rs 6,000-crore rolling credit on monthly sales.

According to a house publication, as on May 31, total dues stood at a staggering Rs 12,000 crore, nearly twice the coal major’s monthly sales. Sources say that as at the end of the first quarter, the dues had reached close to Rs 13,000 crore. Nearly 90 per cent of this is payable by the power sector.

This is playing havoc with CIL’s finances. Coal India sources claim that the estimated loss on account of non-recovery of dues since November 2012 has touched around Rs 250 crore.

NTPC, DVC

According to sources, at least two public sector undertakings, NTPC Ltd and Damodar Valley Corporation are estimated to have held back around Rs 5,000 crore due to different CIL subsidiaries, including the sick Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL). Together, the two power utilities control nearly 48,000 MW generation capacities.

On July 18, NTPC Chairman Arup Roy Chowdhury said he was looking forward to settling the dues, subject to board approval, based on a dispute settlement formula earlier agreed upon between the two companies. The issue was scheduled to feature in NTPC’s board meeting of July 30.

CIL sources said the company is yet to hear in this regard from the power major.

R. N. Sen, Chairman of DVC, claims that the “disputes are yet to be addressed”. The company has reportedly defaulted in paying nearly Rs 1,000 crore to the miner.

Opportunist discoms

State government-controlled distribution utilities are not far behind. According to sources, at least two discoms in West Bengal and Jharkhand have started defaulting heavily. But coal companies cannot stop supplies fearing a blackout and the resulting controversy.

With the coal and the power ministries involved in the debate, CIL officials are not forthcoming in admitting the problem. But sources say that the issue came up for discussion at the company’s meeting with Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on August 7 in Kolkata.

>pratim.bose@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 08, 2013

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