Power producers pull plug on truant discoms
State-owned NTPC and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and private firms like Tata Power and Lanco Power are among producers which have started or planning to start supply cuts to defaulting discoms in order to force them to pay up. The move comes at a time when the Centre and states are discussing contours of a massive debt recast scheme for discoms contingent on reforms, including timely tariff hikes and privatisation.
Discoms are required to maintain letters of credit (LC) under the power purchase agreement (PPA) to ensure timely payment to power suppliers. But in recent weeks, several financially-distressed discoms have failed to honour this key contractual condition, forcing generators to issue disconnection threats. In the latest case, NTPC has just served a 90-day notice to BSES discoms in Delhi — BSES Yamuna Power and BSES Rajdhani Power — for electricity supply disconnection over discoms’ failure to replenish the LC account in time. Even when the discoms have no dues to the generators, the power major is within its right to issue the notice under the Power Regulation Act 2010.
“In the absence of a cost-reflective tariff over the past several years, Delhi discoms are under financial stress with accumulated
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