Distribution companies (DISCOMs) owed ₹113.34 billion (~$1.56 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments across 200 pending invoices at the end of April 2021, according to data released by the Ministry of Power (MoP).
The figures declined for the second consecutive month and were comparatively lower than the ₹120.25 billion (~$1.62 billion) (excluding disputed amounts) in dues recorded for March 2021, spread across 283 pending invoices.
As per the data released by the Ministry of Power’s payment ratification and analysis portal (PRAAPTI), outstanding payments (excluding disputed amounts) to renewable generators stood at ₹6.75 billion (~$92.67 million). The outstanding amounts are the payments that have been delayed by more than six months. According to a notification by the Ministry of Power, 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 grant of short-term open access until the bill is paid. Despite this notification, the outstanding payments of DISCOMs are continuously mounting.
The DISCOMs paid nearly ₹28.06 billion (~$385.23 million) towards their outstanding dues and ₹95.55 billion (~$1.31 billion) towards overdue amounts in April, a decrease of 36% and 69% compared to March 2021 figures.
According to the data released, DISCOMs owed power generators ₹683.30 billion (~$9.40 billion) at the end of the month, and the outstanding dues at the end of the month stood at ₹128.51 billion (~$1.77 billion), an increase of 21% compared to ₹106.45 billion (~$1.46 billion) in March 2021.
Among the states, Tamil Nadu had the highest backlog with an overdue amount of ₹137.18 billion (~$1.88 billion), followed closely by Andhra Pradesh with an overdue amount of ₹37.09 billion (~$509.2 million). Out of the total amount, ₹32.8 billion (~$450.31 million) has been overdue for more than 60 days.
In terms of ease of payments, by DISCOMs, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Meghalaya remained at the bottom rung. Some of the best performing states included Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Tripura, Kerala, Goa, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh.
DISCOMs in Andhra Pradesh have requested a loan of ₹30 billion (~$407.95 million) from the Power Finance Corporation and REC to enable them to clear the dues to power generators.
Non-conventional energy generators whom the DISCOMs owed most included Tata Power Company, Adani Green Energy, NLC India, and Hero Future Energies with ₹24.83 billion (~$340.89 million), ₹16.36 billion (~$224.61 million), ₹10.67 billion (~$146.49 million), and ₹9.44 billion (~$129.6 million), respectively.
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.