Distribution companies (DISCOMs) owed ₹123.45 billion (~$1.68 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments across 206 pending invoices at the end of February 2021, according to data released by the Ministry of Power (MoP).
The figures were slightly higher than those reported for January 2021 when DISCOMs owed ₹122.49 billion (~$1.65 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments across 384 pending invoices.
According to MoP’s payment ratification and analysis portal (PRAAPTI), outstanding payments (excluding disputed amounts) to renewable generators in February stood at ₹3.80 billion (~$51.79 million).
DISCOMs paid nearly ₹19.92 billion (~$271.52 million) towards their outstanding dues and ₹122.4 billion (~$1.67 billion) towards overdue amounts in February, a decrease of 2% and 8% compared to January 2021.
The outstanding amounts are payments that have been delayed by over six months.
As per the released data, 67 DISCOMs owed 232 power generators ₹915.32 billion (~$12.50 billion) against 22,978 overdue invoices in February 2021. Outstanding payments at the end of the month stood at ₹111.34 billion (~$1.52 billion), almost the same as January 2021.
Rajasthan had the highest backlog among the states, with overdue payments to the tune of ₹101.76 billion (~$1.39 billion). Out of the total amount, ₹97.4 billion (~$1.33 billion) has been overdue for more than 60 days.
Andhra Pradesh followed closely with an overdue amount of ₹48.37 billion (~$659.31 million), out of which ₹39.64 billion (~$540.31 million) has been overdue for more than 60 days.
Other states that performed poorly included Chandigarh, Delhi, Tripura, Nagaland, and Sikkim.
Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh were termed ‘Bad’ in terms of ease of payments by the DISCOMs.
Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Meghalaya were termed the ‘Best’ states in terms of ease of payments by the DISCOMs in February 2021.
Non-conventional energy generators who were owed the most by the DISCOMs included Tata Power Company, Adani Green Energy, NLC India, and Hero Future Energies with ₹ 23.47 billion (~$319.91 million), ₹12.58 billion (~$171.47 million), ₹11.35 billion (~$154.71 million), and ₹8.08 billion (~$110.41 million) respectively.
In February this year, the Ministry of Power issued new regulations regarding the late payment surcharge. A DISCOM with a late payment surcharge outstanding against a bill after the expiry of seven months from the due date would now be debarred from procuring power from a power exchange or grant of short-term open access until such bill is paid.
Mercom’s flagship event Mercom India Solar Summit, to be held virtually on April 8 and 9, has an exclusive “DISCOMs-The Weakest link or Unrealized Potential in the Indian Power Sector.” You can click here to register for the event.
Rakesh Ranjan 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.