State-run power distribution companies have attributed their failure to meet the performance targets set under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) to delays in disbursal of subsidies by the state governments.
State-run power distribution companies have attributed their failure to meet the performance targets set under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) to delays in disbursal of subsidies by the state governments. At a recent meeting convened by the power ministry, discom representatives pointed out that their respective aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses were worsening because the state governments were delaying the disbursal of subsidies. Delayed receipts reflect adversely on AT&C figures because it deflates the revenue against the units of electricity sold. Under the UDAY scheme, discoms are expected to progressively reduce their AT&C losses, to reach a level of 15% by FY19. Only seven states/UT had reported meeting their respective AT&C loss targets for FY17, while of late, there is also reversal of the loss reduction trend in some states. Chhattisgarh discom, for example, is now awaiting about Rs 1,800 crore from the state government out of the total booked subsidy of Rs 3,000 crore. Representatives from Punjab noted that apart from the subsidy of Rs 5,000 crore from the state government, its discom was also waiting for Rs 1,200 crore of pending payments from various government departments. Uttar Pradesh noted there was a “high amount” of dues to be recovered by the state’s discoms from local bodies and power looms.
Rise in rural power consumption also resulted in rise in power supply cost in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. As many as 10.1 lakh households have been electrified under Saubhagya (100% household electrification scheme) in Uttar Pradesh — the largest beneficiary among the states under the scheme so far. Himachal Pradesh, whose discoms have revenue higher than costs of power supply (negative ACS-ARR gap), said the situation could improve further after receiving the subsidy amounts. The all-India average ACS-ARR gap in the first nine months of FY18 is Rs 0.32/unit. It was Rs 0.41/unit at the end of FY17. It was also decided in the meeting that focus would now be on about 200 divisions across eight states that have more than 25% AT&C losses, costing the discoms in aggregate more than Rs 10,000 crore every year. As recently reported by FE, the association of power producers have said that private power generating companies are waiting for as much as Rs 8,300 crore receivables pending from the discoms. Even though government-owned power generators are paid first, according to a report recently presented to Lok Sabha by standing committee on energy, dues of state-owned power supply utilities outstanding for more than 60-days payable to Central government owned power companies were Rs 10,712 crore at the end of December, 2017. Out of this, pending amount to NTPC was Rs 1,756 crore.