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Damodar Valley Corporation records show Jharkhand still owes money for power supplied

Pratim Ranjan Bose Kolkata March 20 | Updated on January 27, 2018

Chief Secretary had claimed that the State cleared all dues

It’s a case of free lunches and mysterious payments. The BJP-ruled Jharkhand government claims to has paid all dues to generation utility Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) post-financial restructuring, though DVC is unaware of it.

DVC records show Jharkhand is barely paying for its 700 MW-a-day electricity purchases from the generation utility, and has piled up ₹1,600-crore fresh dues over the past year.

Jharkhand was the first state to join Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) in November 2015. Loans raised under the scheme helped the State clear historic dues of ₹4,770 crore to DVC.

According to a Motilal Oswal report, post-UDAY, Jharkhand was racing ahead to pile up fresh losses.

Apparently, the widening revenue gap was financed through non-payment to vendors. In January, BusinessLine reported that the State has piled up ₹1,300 crore in fresh dues to DVC (and ₹32 crore to CIL) since November 2015.

On March 17, Jharkhand Chief Secretary Raj Bala Verma told BusinessLine in Delhi that the State utility cleared all dues.“There were some issues with DVC that we have sorted out. We are not defaulting, nor will we ever default…The payments to both DVC and Coal India have been made, and we have been budgeted for the same,” she was quoted saying.

While official responses were not available from DVC, sources told BusinessLine that Jharkhand’s dues only increased to ₹1600 crore over the past two months.

Based out of Kolkata, DVC is jointly held by the Centre, West Bengal and Jharkhand governments.

The defaults come heavy on the utility that is trying to come back in black through improved capacity utilisation over the past two years. According to the Central Electricity Authority, during April-December 2016, DVC recorded 18.4 per cent growth in generation, against the same period in 2015.

The generation growth is nearly three times the national average and more than twice the Eastern India average.

Delay on the part of the West Bengal government to approve the sale of majority stake in 1200 MW coal-fired Raghunathpur thermal power station to Chennai-based NLC, is also proving costly to DVC.

Published on March 20, 2017

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