Total outstanding dues owed by electricity distribution companies (discoms) to power producers rose by 4 per cent year-on-year to ₹1,32,432 crore in June 2022. Discoms owed a total of ₹1,27,306 crore to power generation firms in June 2021, according to portal PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators).
On a sequential basis, total dues in June increased from ₹1,30,139 crore in May 2022. The PRAAPTI portal was launched in May 2018 to bring transparency in power purchase transactions between generators and discoms.
In June 2022, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 45 days of grace period offered by generators, stood at ₹1,15,128 crore as against ₹1,04,095 crore in the same month a year ago. The overdue amount stood at ₹1,07,636 crore in May 2022.
Power producers give 45 days to discoms to clear bills for electricity supply. After that, outstanding dues become overdue and generators charge penal interest on that in most cases.
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 Centre had also given some breathers to discoms for paying dues to gencos in view of the Covid-19-induced lockdown. The government had also waived penal charges for the late payment of dues. In May 2020, the government had announced a ₹90,000-crore liquidity infusion for discoms under which these utilities got loans at economical rates from Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and REC Ltd.
This was a government initiative to help gencos remain afloat. Later, the liquidity infusion package was increased to ₹1.2-lakh crore and further to ₹1.35-lakh crore. Discoms in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan account for the major portion of dues to gencos, the data showed.
Overdue of independent power producers amounted to 53.17 per cent of the total overdue of ₹1,15,128 crore of discoms in June 2022. The proportion of central PSU gencos in the overdue was 22.4 per cent. Among the central public sector gencos, NTPC alone has an overdue amount of ₹5,441.95 crore on discoms, followed by DVC at ₹3,885.19 crore and NPCIL at ₹3,272.24 crore, in June, 2022.
Among private generators, discoms owe the highest overdue amount of ₹21,625.02 crore to Adani Power in the month under review. The overdue of non-conventional energy producers like solar and wind stood at ₹22,432.27 crore in June, 2022.