Jharkhand discom clears ₹1,300-cr dues to DVC, Coal India

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018

Mining leases for auctioned coal blocks to be executed in 2 months

The Jharkhand power distribution company, Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd, has cleared the approximately ₹1,300 crore it owes to Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and ₹32 crore to Coal India, a top State government official said.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Jharkhand Chief Secretary Raj Bala Verma said: “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 budgeted for the same. We are on the roadmap for executing the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY) reforms.”

Jharkhand was the first State to join the Centre’s UDAY programme. Under the scheme, State governments were to reduce the losses of their power distribution companies.

After joining the scheme, Jharkhand raised a loan and cleared historic dues of ₹5,553 crore, accumulated between 2001 and September 2015, by paying ₹4,770 crore to DVC and ₹783 crore to Coal India.

Even after joining the scheme, BusinessLine reported in January, that Jharkhand had piled up ₹1,300 crore in fresh dues to DVC and ₹32 crore to Coal India. It had stopped paying dues to DVC for the purchase of roughly 700 MW a day.

Mining leases delayed

The State was also facing delays in execution of mining leases of coal blocks auctioned by the government in 2014.

As of February last year, none of the 21 blocks that were auctioned or allotted in the State had started production.

Commenting on the issue, Verma said that the coal block lease clearance is in advance stage.

She said: “There were some issues of forest clearance and other things, those have been tackled and sorted out. Mining has also started at the Kathautia coal block.

“The lease execution for the West Bengal Power Corporation is in the advance stage. The lease deeds for the pending blocks will be executed in the next two months.

“We have executed for Essar, next in line will probably be Steel Authority of India, West Bengal Power Corporation and Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL).”

Published on March 19, 2017

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