Two state-owned lenders to power projects have bailed out Reliance Infrastructure-owned Delhi power distribution companies from a payment crisis that had been threatening to pull the plug on the national capital's electricity supply beginning June. "Our board has approved the Rs 500 crore short-term loan request from BSES firms. The loan has a tenure of one year," said a senior executive of Power Finance Corporation (PFC). The other Rs 500 crore loan from Rural Electrification Corp (REC) has also been approved though BSES is yet to receive the confirmation letter, another person close to the development said.
The development follows a comfort letter given by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to the two lenders that recognises Regulatory Assets (RAs), unrecovered revenue from consumers, of Rs 11,431 crore for discoms as on March 2012. The regulator has also assured the lenders a plan to recover the arrears has been announced.
The two firms – BSES Yamuna (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani (BRPL) – supply power to 70% of the city's 3.2 million consumers. They were asked by the Supreme Court on May 6 to clear of Rs 700 crore for power bought from state-owned generator NTPC Ltd by May 31. NTPC had threatened to cut off 2,000 MW supply in case the payments were not received.
With the loan approval coming through, the discoms would be able to pay the pending dues to NTPC before the deadline, sources said. An NTPC spokesperson, however, said the company is yet to hear from the two discoms on the issue of pending dues.
Delhi discoms' RAs have jumped sharply from Rs 936 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 19,500 crore in 2012-13. DERC had in March decided to allow recovery of past dues totaling Rs 8,000 crore over eight years beginning 2014-15. The plan allows the discoms recovery of Rs 1,671 crore from consumers through tariff beginning current fiscal.
Source- Business standard