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Home KSEB Financial burden shocks KSEB, top brass clueless

Financial burden shocks KSEB, top brass clueless

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DebtTop brass of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) remains clueless even as the board inches towards a financial abyss with banks refusing to extend any more short-term loan to bail the board out. With a poor monsoon leaving all its major hydel projects dry, KSEB will have to spend about Rs 130 crore a month to buy power from other sources, including liquid fuel stations. This amount will treble if the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission rejects KSEB's proposal for more power restrictions and to charge more from domestic users consuming more than 200 units a month.

Sources said the additional financial burden would shoot up to Rs 330 crore a month if the commission says no to tariff revision plan, which was cleared by the Kerala government last week.

While KSEB buys power for Rs 12 from thermal and other sources, the average cost realisation is only Rs 4.43. The board has clearly informed the commission that it can no more take on additional financial burden. "KSEB has availed short-term loans and overdrafts to the tune of Rs 2,851 crore during September, 2012. Now financial institutions are reluctant to offer further loans causing default in payment to stakeholders, including power purchase bills. The KSEB owes Rs 322 crore to NTPC alone, " the board said in its petition.

Requests from field offices to settle staff claims, pay contractors, suppliers, etc, has been kept pending for more than two months. KSEB has been meeting the liabilities by availing short-term loans from Federal Bank (Rs 200 crore), State Bank of Travancore (Rs 100 crore) and the Kerala Power Finance Corporation (Rs 11 crore)," the board said in its petition.

The board is concerned that its dependence on the liquid fuel-based power will cause further drain on its already dried up coffers. Given the storage position in dams, the board will have to restrict generation to 10 MUs per day till northeast monsoon rains lash the state.

Source- TOI


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