Distribution companies (DISCOMs) owed ₹120.25 billion (~$1.62 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments across 283 pending invoices at the end of March 2021, according to data released by the Ministry of Power (MoP).
The figures were slightly lower than those reported for February 2021, when the DISCOMs owed ₹123.45 billion (~$1.68 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments across 206 pending invoices.
According to the Ministry of Power’s payment ratification and analysis portal (PRAAPTI), outstanding payments (excluding disputed amounts) to renewable generators stood at ₹6.14 billion (~$82.88 million).
The DISCOMs paid nearly ₹43.75 billion (~$590.56 million) towards their outstanding dues and ₹304.38 billion (~$4.11 billion) towards overdue amounts in March, an increase of 120% and 149% compared to February 2021.
The outstanding amounts are the payments that have been delayed by more than six months.
As per the released data, 66 DISCOMs owed 247 power generators ₹829.96 billion (~$11.23 billion) against 23,456 overdue invoices in March 2021. Outstanding payments at the end of the month stood at ₹106.45 billion (~$1.44 billion), a decrease of 4% compared to February 2021.
Among the states, Tamil Nadu had the highest backlog with an overdue amount of ₹162.09 billion (~$2.19 billion). Out of the total, ₹144.42 billion (~$1.95 billion) has been overdue for more than 60 days.
Rajasthan followed closely with overdue payments of nearly ₹103.56 billion (~$1.39 billion). Out of the total overdue amount, ₹96.16 billion (~$1.29 billion) has been overdue for more than 60 days.
Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi remained at the bottom rung in terms of ease of payments by DISCOMs. Some of the best-performing states included Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh, among others.
Non-conventional energy generators whom the DISCOMs owed most included Tata Power Company, Adani Green Energy, NLC India, and Hero Future Energies with ₹24.47 billion (~$330.31 million), ₹15.89 billion (~$214.49 million), ₹10.12 billion (~$136.61 million), and ₹9.42 billion (~$127.16 million), respectively.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Power issued new regulations regarding the late payment surcharge, which will be 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 the expiry of seven months from the due date will be debarred from procuring power from a power exchange or being granted short-term open access until they meet 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.