As UP waits for Atmanirbhar package, power dues swell to over Rs 26k cr

Slow disbursals and tough preconditions of the Central government’s Atmanirbhar package for state power distribution companies (discoms) have resulted in a sharp rise in outstanding dues of the Uttar Pradesh discoms to generation companies.

The Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) discoms’ overdues to generation companies stand at Rs 26,000 crore as on January 31, 2021. Of this, dues of IPPs stand at approximately Rs 12,000 crore while those of central PSUs are around Rs 10,000 crore. Apart from this, the renewable energy producers have pending bills of Rs 1,000 crore.

According to senior officials of UPPCL, this amount does not include the Rs 15,000 crore dues of state PSUs, which are not covered in the package. “UPPCL has already submitted its action plan for the second tranche to the government of India, but it has not been cleared yet. In fact, none of the states have been able to clear their action plans yet and no disbursements have been made so far,” said the official, adding that the delay is resulting in an additional burden of Rs 6 crore of interest per day to UPPCL, which will finally be passed on to the consumers.

“Till March 2020, UP’s power purchase dues to CPSUs and IPPs amounted to Rs 21,000 crore, against which the Centre released the first tranche of payment of Rs 10,500 crore, leaving a balance of Rs 10,500 crore. When the scheme was extended till June 2020, we submitted a fresh requirement of Rs 12,983 crore, which too, will be payable by the Centre in two tranches. While we have submitted the action plan for the second tranche of Rs 10,500 crore, we have requested the Centre to at least clear the first tranche of the April-June period, since the action plan for that is similar to the first tranche that has already been cleared. That way, we will be able to clear approximately Rs 6,500 crore to the gencos,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

The central government had initially announced the Rs 94,000-crore Atmanirbhar scheme for ailing discoms till March 2020, which was then extended to Rs 1.25 lakh crore till June 2020. According to reports, while loans to discoms have been sanctioned to the full extent, disbursals have only touched Rs 46,100 crore.

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