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CASH-strapped power com­pa­nies which are reel­ing from the huge debt bur­den of banks are sink­ing deeper into a fi­nan­cial mess as their out­stand­ing dues from state elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies (dis­coms) have jumped by 25 per cent to Rs 39,498 crore in Oc­to­ber 2018, of­fi­cial data shows.

If the out­stand­ing dues from dis­coms of the past 60 days get added, the fig­ures would rise to over Rs 50,000 crore, a se­nior power com­pany ex­ec­u­tive lamented. The dis­coms' dues to power gen­er­a­tion com­pa­nies had stood at Rs 31,676 crore in Oc­to­ber 2017, data on the PRAAPTI (Pay­ment Rat­i­fi­ca­tion And Anal­y­sis in Power Pro­cure­ment for Bring­ing Trans­parency in In­voic­ing of Gen­er­a­tors) web­site shows. The web­site was launched by the gov­ern­ment in May last year to bring trans­parency in pay­ments.

Dis­coms are tak­ing a as many as 16 months to make pay­ments, the por­tal showed.

While UP tops the list with 537 days de­lay in mak­ing pay­ments, Delhi takes 519 days and is fol­lowed by Ma­ha­rash­tra (518 days), Kar­nataka (517 days), Ra­jasthan (516 days), Tamil Nadu (515 days), Te­lan­gana (514 days) and Andhra Pradesh (514 days).

The out­stand­ing dues of pub­lic sec­tor ther­mal power com­pa­nies ac­count for over 55 per cent of the to­tal amount of Rs 39,498 crore that state dis­coms are hold­ing up. Power util­ity gi­ant NTPC has been the worst hit with dues of Rs 15,661.31 crore fol­lowed by NHPC which is owed Rs 3,011.67 crore and Damodar Val­ley Cor­po­ra­tion with Rs

1990.59 crore.

AS far as pri­vate sec­tor power com­pa­nies are con­cerned Adani Power tops the list with out­stand­ing dues from dis­coms at Rs 6,878.94 crore, fol­lowed by Ba­jaj Group-owned Lal­it­pur Power Gen­er­a­tion Com­pany Ltd at Rs 1,861 crore, GMR at Rs 1630.40 and Sem­b­corp En­ergy at Rs 1,712.32 crore among the pri­vate gen­er­a­tors.

Se­nior of­fi­cials of ther­mal power gen­er­a­tion firms said while the is­sue of 30,000 MW stressed as­sets are yet to be re­solved, the stag­ger­ing amounts stuck in un­paid bills have started im­pact­ing cash flows of many com­pa­nies. Cit­ing re­ports, they added that re­cently Lal­it­pur Power Gen­er­a­tion Com­pany faced is­sues in pay­ing salaries to its nearly 3,000 staff and meet­ing their op­er­a­tions and main­te­nance re­quire­ments.

The of­fi­cials are of the view that ac­cept­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary P K Sinha-headed high level em­pow­ered com­mit­tee which camw out in favour of a bill dis­count­ing mech­a­nism that could re­solve the is­sue of un­paid bills. The Sinha Com­mit­tee had rec­om­mended that pub­lic fi­nance in­sti­tu­tions may dis­count the re­ceiv­ables from dis­coms and make an up­front pay­ment to the gen­er­a­tors.

Delhi Ma­ha­rash­tra Kar­nataka Ra­jasthanTamil Nadu Te­lan­gana Andhra Pradesh 519 518 517 516 515 514 514

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