Economy

Discoms owe ₹40,000 crore to power generators

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on December 31, 2018 Published on December 31, 2018

At ₹13,967.83 crore, dues owed to NTPC were the highest   -  The Hindu

Efforts on to ensure payments are made on time: official

The dues that power distribution companies (Discoms) owe generation companies (Gencos) have crossed ₹40,000 crore, according to industry players.

“We are following up with the State governments to ensure the timely payment of dues. This is also discussed during our monthly interactions,” Secretary, Ministry of Power, A K Bhalla, told BusinessLine.

Cash flow suffers

According to industry officials, outstanding payments to Gencos from Discoms reached ₹37,219 crore as of September. These figures will rise to over ₹45,000 crore if invoices of the last 60 days are added. Said an industry official: “The alarming level of outstandings has already started impacting the cash flows of various companies.”

Of the total dues, the more precarious long-term outstanding dues are closer to ₹27,000 crore. “There has been a ₹7,000-crore spike in longer-term outstanding from ₹20,000 crore in June 2018 to ₹27,000 crore in November 2018. The overall dues on an average have been close to ₹40,000 crore,” an industry watcher said.

NTPC worst hit

“Most Discoms tend to clear dues after State governments release funds for power subsidy payments. There were higher sales in October and the Discoms generally clear dues by March end,” the industry watcher added.

At ₹13,967.83 crore, dues owed to NTPC were the highest. Adani Power comes second at ₹6,878.94 crore and NHPC is third with ₹2,989.87 crorereceivables till September 2018.

To prevent such a situation, the PRAAPTI web portal was launched by the Centre in May to rein in errant Discoms. ‘PRAAPTI’ stands for ‘Payment ratification and analysis in power procurement for bringing transparency in invoicing of generators’.

Share of big States

The portal will help power distribution companies stay abreast of invoicing by generators and bring transparency in their payments, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and Renewable Energy, RK Singh had said.

But, according to the portal, the worst performers in clearing dues are Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

Till September 2018, Maharashtra owed ₹5,895 crore, and UP ₹5,381 crore.

“The 10 large States — UP, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi — alone account for over 85 per cent of the outstanding, an analysis of the PRAAPTI portal shows,” the industry officials said.

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Published on December 31, 2018
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