Distribution companies (DISCOMs) owed ₹146.07 billion (~$1.97 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payment across 259 invoices at the end of August 2021, according to data released by the Ministry of Power (MoP).
The figure was 3.27% higher than ₹141.44 billion (~$1.94 billion) spread over 259 invoices at the end of July 2021.
As per data released by the MoP’s payment ratification and analysis portal PRAAPTI, the outstanding payments to renewable energy generators stood at ₹8.59 billion (~$116.8 million) at the end of August 2021. The figure was ₹11.93 billion (~$163.22 million) at the end of July 2021.
DISCOMs paid ₹31.72 billion (~$430 million) in outstanding amounts to power generators, a decrease of 12%, and ₹156.13 billion (~$2.12 billion) in overdue amounts, an increase of 6% compared to the July figures.
The overdue amount to power generators at the end of August 2021 stood at ₹950.48 billion (~$12.93 billion), an increase of 4.6% compared to ₹909.01 billion (~$12.37) at the end of July 2021.
Among the states, Tamil Nadu had the highest backlog at the end of August 2021 with an overdue amount of ₹211.99 billion (~$2.88 billion), followed by Maharashtra and Rajasthan with ₹180.92 billion (~$2.46 billion) and ₹110.51 billion (~$1.5 billion), respectively.
In terms of ease of doing business with DISCOMs, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh remained at the bottom of the rung. Among the best performing states were Gujarat, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Nagaland. Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland had no overdue amount.
Non-conventional energy generators to whom the DISCOMs owed the most at the end of the month included Tata Power, Adani Green Energy, and Hero Future Energies, with ₹26.6 billion (~$362 million), ₹20.21 billion (~$275 million), and ₹10.96 billion (~$149.1 million), respectively.
In July 2021, the MoP issued detailed guidelines for the reform-based result-linked power distribution program over the next five years. The program aims to reduce the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses across India to 12-15% and improve the quality and reliability of power supply to consumers through a financially and operationally efficient distribution sector.
DISCOMs and solar developers are optimistic that the program would help improve the financial conditions of DISCOMs and strengthen the transmission network to reduce losses.
Harsh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.