Distribution companies (DISCOMs) owed ₹197.12 billion (~$2.64 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments at the end of October 2021, according to data released by the Ministry of Power.
The figure reported for October was 27% higher than ₹154.83 (~$2.09 billion) at the end of September 2021.
According to the data released by MoP’s payment ratification and analysis portal PRAAPTI, the outstanding payments to renewable energy generators stood at ₹5.82 billion (~$77.83 million) at the end of October 2021. At the end of September 2021, the figure was at ₹8.71 billion (~$117.41 million).
The DISCOMs released ₹31.85 billion (~$425.92 million) in outstanding amounts to power generators in October, a decrease of 33% compared to the September figures.
The DISCOMs also released ₹101.59 billion (~$1.36 billion) against overdue amounts during October, decreasing by 61% compared to September.
The overdue amount owed by DISCOMs to power generators at the end of October stood at ₹1.04 trillion (~$13.91 billion), increasing by 7.6%, and the outstanding amount stood at ₹118.77 billion (~$1.59 billion), a decrease of 34% compared to September.
Among various states, Tamil Nadu had the highest backlog of ₹195.27 billion (~$2.61 billion), followed by Maharashtra with ₹192.66 billion (~$2.58 billion), and Rajasthan with ₹120.89 billion (~$1.62 billion).
Jammu, Kashmir, and Meghalaya were still at the bottom in terms of ease of business with DISCOMs in various states. Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan did slightly better. The best performing states were Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland.
Non-conventional energy generators to whom the DISCOMs owed the most amount at the end of the month included Tata Power, Adani Green Energy, and Hero Future Energies, with ₹28.61 billion (~$382.59 million), ₹22.26 billion (~$297.68 million), and ₹10.96 billion (~$147.74 million), respectively.
In July this year, the Ministry of Power issued detailed guidelines for reform-based result-linked power distribution program over the next five years. The program aims to improve the quality and the reliability of power supply to consumers through a financially sustainable and operationally efficient distribution sector. The outlay for the program is ₹3.03 trillion (~$40.82 billion), with budgetary support of ₹976.31 billion (~$13.1 billion) from the Government of India.
Earlier, the Ministry of Power had issued new regulations regarding the late payment surcharge, applicable for power purchase agreements and transmission service agreements in which the tariffs have been determined through competitive bidding. A DISCOM with a late payment surcharge outstanding against a bill after seven months from the due date will be debarred from procuring power from a power exchange or granted short-term open access until they clear the dues.
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.