Distribution companies (DISCOMs) owed nearly ₹121.12 billion (~$1.65 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments across 380 pending invoices, according to data released by the Ministry of Power (MoP).
The figures were slightly higher than those reported for November 2020 when DISCOMs owed renewable energy generators ₹118.6 billion (~$1.6 billion) across 452 invoices.
According to MoP’s payment ratification and analysis portal (PRAAPTI), outstanding payments (excluding disputed amounts) to renewable generators in December stood at ₹3.12 billion (~$42.6 million).
DISCOMs paid ₹35.32 billion (~$483.02 million) towards their outstanding dues and ₹138.8 billion (~$1.89 billion) towards overdue amounts during December, an increase of 60.5% and 11.6% compared to November 2020. Outstanding amounts are payments that have been delayed by over six months.
As per the released data, 65 DISCOMs owed 231 power generators, nearly ₹1.26 trillion (~$17.22 billion) against 22,456 overdue invoices in December 2020. Outstanding payments at the end of the month stood at ₹93.43 billion (~$1.27 billion), a decrease of 29% compared to ₹132.06 billion (~$1.81 billion) in November 2020.
Rajasthan continued to have the largest backlog among the states, with overdue payments to the tune of ₹405.99 billion (~$5.55 billion). Out of the total amount, ₹380.38 billion (~$5.2 billion) has been overdue for more than 60 days. Tamil Nadu followed closely with an overdue amount of ₹209.01 billion (~$2.85 billion), out of which ₹185.87 billion (~$2.54 billion) was overdue for more than 60 days. Other states that performed badly on the set parameters included Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka.
Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Manipur were rated as ‘Best’ in terms of ease of payments by the DISCOMs in December. Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab were termed average.
Non-conventional energy generators who were owed the most by the DISCOMs included Tata Power Company, Adani Green Energy, and NLC India with ₹ 23.61 billion (~$322.8 million), ₹12.009 billion (~$164.2 million), and ₹10.85 billion (~$148.37 million) respectively.
Recently, the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) requested the Union Power Minister, R.K. Singh, for the release of payments by the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and REC Limited to renewable energy developers having power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Andhra Pradesh DISCOMs. The payments are pending since April 2020.
In May last year, the central government announced that DISCOMs would receive ₹900 billion (~$12.03 billion) as part of a stimulus package to help the Indian economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis. This one-time liquidity injection was to be infused through PFC and REC in two equal installments.
Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.