Power producers’ total outstanding dues owed by distribution companies increased around 45 per cent to Rs 81,085 crore in November 2019 over the same month previous year, reflecting stress in the sector.
Distribution companies (discoms) owed a total of Rs 54,834 crore to power generation companies in November 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 generators and discoms.
In November 2019, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 60 days of grace period offered by generators, stood at Rs 71,782 crore as against Rs 41,503 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. 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 November has increased over the preceding month. In October 2019, total outstanding dues on discoms stood at Rs 80,635 crore.
The overdue amount in November has also increased over the preceding month. The total overdue amount was Rs 70,477 crore in October 2019.
Discoms in Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu account for the major portion of dues to power gencos, taking a longer duration of up to 943 days to make payments, the data showed.
Among major states, Andhra Pradesh tops the list with 943 days to make payments, followed by Rajasthan (942 days), Bihar (942 days), Haryana (940 days), Tamil Nadu (938 days), Madhya Pradesh (927 days) and Telangana (920 days).
Delhi takes 969 days to make payments to power gencos.
Overdues of independent power producers amount to over 26 per cent of the total overdue of Rs 71,782 crore on discoms in November 2019.
Among the central public sector power generators, NTPC alone has an overdue amount of Rs 12,483.16 crore on discoms, followed by NLC India at Rs 4,380.22 crore, NHPC at Rs 3,165.11 crore, THDC India at Rs 2,078.30 crore and Damodar Valley Corporation at Rs 936.59 crore.
Among private generators, discoms owe the highest overdue of Rs 3,201.68 crore to Adani Power, followed by Bajaj Group-owned Lalitpur Power Generation Company Ltd at Rs 2,212.66 crore and GMR at Rs 1,930.16 crore.