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Discoms’ dues to power producers rise by 41% to Rs 90,577 crore at FY20-end

The discoms’ dues to power producers have been rising relentlessly over the past two years and this could’ve also had made them cut purchases.

NTPC’s overdues stood at Rs 10,586 crore while the same for DVC was Rs 5,791 crore.
NTPC’s overdues stood at Rs 10,586 crore while the same for DVC was Rs 5,791 crore.
NTPC’s overdues stood at Rs 10,586 crore while the same for DVC was Rs 5,791 crore.
NTPC’s overdues stood at Rs 10,586 crore while the same for DVC was Rs 5,791 crore.

State-run electricity distribution companies’ (discoms) dues to power producers stood at Rs 90,577 crore at the end of March 2020, up 41% from a year earlier. About 88% of these (Rs 79,829 crore) were “overdues” with payment default of 60 days or more.

Though the overdue amount is expectedly lower than the February figure because the discoms clear large portions of dues in the last month of the fiscal, this time money paid by them in March (Rs 17,583 crore) was 19% lower than the value of invoices cleared in the same month in FY19, reflecting the additional stress of the discoms in the lockdown.

Among the generators which provided their inputs in the power ministry’s ‘praapti’ portal, Rajasthan’s state-owned generating company has the highest pending overdue of Rs 20,412 crore. NTPC’s overdues stood at Rs 10,586 crore while the same for DVC was Rs 5,791 crore.

Private power producers to which discoms owed the most as overdues at March-end were Bajaj Lalitpur (Rs 2,876 crore), Tata Power (Rs 1,745 crore) and Sembcorp Energy (Rs 1,625 crore). The total due amount would be higher if it included the current unpaid invoices of major power players such as Adani Power and GMR Energy.

While Rajasthan alone accounts for about 25% of total overdues of discoms across India, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh make up for another 15% and 14%, respectively.

The discoms’ dues to power producers have been rising relentlessly over the past two years and this could’ve also had made them cut purchases. The issue of payment delays will be exacerbated going ahead with discom finances are seen to get more adversely impacted due to lower industrial power demand and logistical constraints in revenue collection due to the lockdown to contain the outspread of coronavirus. Since about 70% of the revenue of the discoms come from industrial and commercial customers, lower usage by these categories means additional pressure on these already distressed entities.

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