Discoms' outstanding dues to power gencos rise nearly 50% to ₹88,177 cr in Dec

NEW DELHI : Power producers' total outstanding dues owed by distribution firms jumped nearly 50% to ₹ 88,177 crore in December 2019 over the same month previous year, reflecting stress in the sector.

Distribution companies (discoms) owed a total of ₹ 59,015 crore to power generation companies in December 2018, according to portal PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators).

The portal was launched in May 2018 to bring in transparency in power purchase transactions between the generators and discoms.

In December 2019, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 60 days of grace period offered by generators, stood at ₹ 78,174 crore as against ₹ 44,464 crore in the same month of the preceding year.

Power producers give 60 days to discoms for paying bills for the supply of electricity. After that, outstanding dues become overdue and generators charge penal interest on that in most cases.

In order 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.

According to the latest data on the portal, outstanding dues in December has also increased over the preceding month. In November 2019, total outstanding dues on discoms stood at ₹ 82,414 crore.

The overdue amount in November has also increased over the preceding month. The total overdue amount was ₹ 73,175 crore in November 2019.

Discoms in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu account for the major portion of dues to power gencos, the data showed.

Overdues of independent power producers amount to 25.45% of the total overdue of ₹ 78,174 crore on discoms in December.

Among the central public sector power generators, NTPC alone has an overdue amount of ₹ 15,695.65 crore on discoms, followed by NLC India at ₹ 5,010.69 crore, NHPC at ₹ 3,165.09 crore, THDC India at ₹ 2,136.30 crore and Damodar Valley Corporation at ₹ 822.09 crore.

Among private generators, discoms owe the highest overdue of ₹ 3,201.68 crore to Adani Power, followed by Bajaj Group-owned Lalitpur Power Generation Company Ltd at ₹ 2,212.66 crore and GMR at ₹ 1,930.16 crore.

The overdue of non-conventional energy producers like solar and wind, stood at ₹ 6,739.47 crore in December.