Power firms’ woes up as dis­com dues rise

Mint ST - - CORPORATE - PTI feed­[email protected] NEW DELHI

Dues rose to ₹39,498 cr in Oct 2018, up 24.7% from year-ago lev­els

Amid stress in the power sec­tor, woes of elec­tric­ity gen­er­at­ing firms have in­creased fur­ther as their out­stand­ing dues from state dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies (dis­coms) rose to ₹39,498 crore in Oc­to­ber 2018, up 24.7% from a year-ago lev­els, of­fi­cial data showed.

“If the out­stand­ing dues on dis­coms of the past 60 days get added, the fig­ures would rise to over ₹50,000 crore,” a se­nior of­fi­cial of a ther­mal power com­pany said.

In Oc­to­ber 2017, the dis­coms’ dues to power-pro­duc­ing com­pa­nies stood at ₹31,676 crore, the data avail­able on the Pay­ment Rat­i­fi­ca­tion And Anal­y­sis in Power Pro­cure­ment for Bring­ing Trans­parency in In­voic­ing of Gen­er­a­tors web­site showed.

The web­site was launched by the gov­ern­ment in May last year to bring trans­parency in pay­ments.

Dis­coms of Ut­tar Pradesh, Ma­ha­rash­tra, Te­lan­gana, Andhra Pradesh, Kar­nataka, Delhi and Tamil Nadu owe the ma­jor por­tion of dues to the power gen­er­at­ing com­pa­nies and take over 514 days or about 1 year and 4 months to make pay­ments, the por­tal showed.

While UP tops the list with 537 days 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 dues owed to pub­lic sec­tor ther­mal power com­pa­nies amount to over 55% of the to­tal dues of ₹39,498 Woes of power firms have in­creased as their out­stand­ing dues from dis­coms rose to ₹39,498 cr in Oct 2018, up 24.7% from a year-ago lev­els crore from dis­coms. This in­cludes out­stand­ing of NTPC at ₹15,661.31 crore, NHPC at ₹3,011.67 crore and Damodar Val­ley Cor­po­ra­tion at ₹1,990.59 crore.

Dis­coms owe the most to Adani Power at ₹6,878.94 crore, Bajaj Group-owned Lal­it­pur Power Gen­er­a­tion Co. Ltd at ₹1,861 crore, GMR at ₹1,630.40 crore and Sem­b­corp En­ergy at ₹1,712.32 crore among the pri­vate gen­er­a­tors. Se­nior of­fi­cials of ther­mal power gen­er­a­tion firms said: “Such stag­ger­ing lev­els of un­paid bills have left pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies wor­ried. While the is­sue of 30,000MW stressed as­sets are yet to be re­solved, this alarm­ing level of un­paid bills have started im­pact­ing cash­flows 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 added that ac­cept­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions of the cab­i­net sec­re­tary P.K. Sinha-headed High Level Em­pow­ered Com­mit­tee would lead to re­solv­ing most of the is­sues of the power sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly the bill dis­count­ing mech­a­nism that has the po­ten­tial to re­solve the is­sue of un­paid bills for­ever.

RAMESH PATHANIA/MINT

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