The total outstanding dues owed by electricity distribution companies to power generators rose by 4.4 per cent to ₹1.21 lakh crore in January 2022.
Discoms owed a total of ₹1.15 lakh crore to power generation firms in January 2021, according to the portal PRAAPTI.
Discoms in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu account for the major portion of dues to generating companies.
In January 2022, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 45 days of grace period offered by the power generators, stood at ₹1.01 lakh crore as against ₹99,650 crore in the same month a year ago.
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Power generators give 45 days to Discoms to pay bills for electricity supply. After that, outstanding dues become overdue and generators charge penal interest on the pending amount in most cases.
The Centre had given some relief to Discoms for paying dues to generators in view of the pandemic-induced lockdown. The government also waived penal charges for the late payment of dues.
In May 2020, under the Atmanirbhar scheme, the Centre announced ₹90,000 crore liquidity infusion for Discoms, under which the utilities received loans at economical rates from Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electricity Corporation.
Though Discoms like TANGEDCO received a major part of the share, the amount pending to power generators have once again increased to the 2020 level, leaving the Discoms at the mercy of state and Central governments to bail them out once again.
Overdue of independent power producers amounted to 54.56 per cent of the total overdue of ₹1,01,357 crore for the Discoms this month.
The proportion of central PSU generators in the overdue was 22.43 per cent.
Among the public sector power generators, NTPC alone has an overdue amount of ₹4,298.32 crore, followed by NPCIL’s Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant with ₹2,745.21 crore. DVC has to get ₹2,447.83 crore and NLC India ₹2,206.86 crore.
Among private power generators, Discoms owe the maximum amount of ₹26,648.56 crore to Adani Power, followed by Bajaj Group, owned Lalitpur Power Generation Company, at ₹4,966.09 crore in January this year.
The overdue of non-conventional or renewable energy producers like solar and wind stood at ₹19,651 crore.
Maharashtra has the maximum amount pending at ₹22,627 crore, and following Maharashtra, is Tamil Nadu with ₹20,788 crore.
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“We are trying to pay off the power generators but the revenue is not increasing, as the tariff has not been revised since 2014, when the last revision was done. But the cost of power generation as well as the power purchase tariff has increased several times,” said a senior TANGEDCO official.