Discom dues: Centre accepts States’ requests for ₹20,000-crore soft loans

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 03, 2020 Published on July 03, 2020

RK Singh

Discom dues in April and May to gencos can also be financed by loans from Centre: RK Singh

The Ministry of Power has accepted requests from State governments for soft loans worth ₹20,000 crore to help pay back dues to power generation companies (gencos).

These loans have been extended to help power distribution companies (discoms) clear their pendency to Central public sector undertakings and private-owned gencos.

Addressing the opening session of the Conference of Power and New and Renewable Energy Ministers of States and Union Territories, Singh said: “Loan requests worth ₹93,000 crore have been recieved from the States till now. Of these, loan requests worth ₹20,000 crore accepted.”

Till now, discom dues till March 2020 were eligible to be financed by loans from the Power Finance Corporation and REC. This facility was extended in light of the Covid-19 lockdowns being imposed and bill collection by discoms being affected.

This has been further relaxed and dues during April and May can also be financed by the States, Singh said.

Import substitution

Taking a firm stand against use of imported Chinese equipment in the power sector, Singh said that there should be a push for local substitution.

“We have imported ₹71,000 crore of power equipment in fisxal 2018-2019. Of this, ₹21,000-crore worth of imports came from China. This is unacceptable, and now China and Pakistan will be put in prior reference countries,” he said.

Imports from prior reference countries will need an approval from the Centre.

“And we will not give a permit for the same. Transmission tower elements, conductors, parts of meters are imported from China and there is no logic in that,” he said.

He also said that a scheme that merges the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and Integrated Power Development Scheme scheme will be introduced.

“This scheme has an united fund to allow flexibility to State governments to decide where they want to spend money. The disbursals from this scheme will be conditional to the discom being in profit. For those discoms not making a profit, a loss reduction trajectory has to be shared and the grants or loans will be extended only till loss reduction strategy is followed,” he said.

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Published on July 03, 2020
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