Total outstanding dues of electricity distribution companies to power producers rose by 4.04 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1,21,765 crore in May 2022, according to the official data. Discoms owed a total of Rs 1,17,026 crore to power generation firms in May 2021, according to portal PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators).
On a sequential basis too, total dues in May 2022 increased from Rs 1,20,954 crore in April 2022. The PRAAPTI portal was launched in May 2018 to bring transparency in power purchase transactions between generators and discoms. In May 2022, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 45 days of a grace period offered by generators, stood at Rs 1,06,902 crore as against Rs 94,354 crore in the same month a year ago. The overdue amount stood at Rs 1,06,071 crore in April 2022.
Power producers give 45 days to discoms to pay bills for electricity supply. After that, outstanding dues become overdue and generators charge interest on that in most cases.To give relief to power generation companies (gencos), the Centre enforced a payment security mechanism from August 1, 2019. Under this mechanism, discoms are required to open letters of credit for getting power supply.
The Centre had also given some breather to discoms for paying dues to gencos in view of the COVID-19-induced lockdown. The government had also waived penal charges for the late payment of dues. In May 2020, the government had announced a Rs 90,000-crore liquidity infusion for discoms under which these utilities got loans at economical rates from Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and REC Ltd. This was a government initiative to help gencos remain afloat. Later, the liquidity infusion package was increased to Rs 1.2 lakh crore and further to Rs 1.35 lakh crore.
Discoms in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu account for the major portion of dues to gencos in April, the data showed.Overdues of independent power producers amounted to 55.86 per cent of the total overdue of Rs 1,06,902 crore of discoms. The proportion of central PSU gencos in the overdue was 22.35 per cent.
Among the central public sector gencos, NTPC alone has an overdue amount of Rs 5,072.82 crore, followed by NPCIL – Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant at Rs 3,419.78 crore and DVC at Rs 3,398.57 crore in May 2022. Among private generators, discoms owe the highest overdue amount of Rs 25,284.67 crore to Adani Power, followed by KSK Mahanadi Power Company Ltd at Rs 5,324.32 crore and Bajaj Group-owned Lalitpur Power Generation Company at Rs 5,308.29 crore.The overdue of renewable energy producers stood at Rs 20,127.16 crore in May 2022.