Power Crisis: Despite PFC-REC loan, discoms’ dues rise 8% at April-end

State-run electricity distribution companies’ (discoms’) overdues — pending receivables of 45 days or more — from private power producers increased 8% on year to Rs 36,018 crore at April-end, even as their total overdues stood at Rs 68,330 crore, down 9.6% from a year earlier.

Receivables from central government power stations fell 39% annually to Rs 20,978 crore. Discoms cleared bills of Rs 12,361 crore in April against Rs 38,286 crore in March – they usually pay a larger portion of the dues in the last month of a fiscal year.

Invoices cleared in the month in April was still 76% higher than the value of bills paid in April FY21, thanks to PFC-REC loans received by dicsoms under the Rs 1.25-lakh-crore liquidity infusion scheme announced by the Centre.

Pertinently, the total pending dues at April-end would have been higher if the disputed invoices of Rs 22,680 crore had been accounted for. The disputed amount for central government owned power plants stood at Rs 1,511 crore while for private power producers, the same was much higher at Rs 21,157 crore.

According to the government’s Praapti portal, disputed invoices of Adani Power itself were worth Rs 20,582 crore. Most of the sector’s disputed amount pertains to various adjustments under ‘change-in-law’ provision and late payment surcharges, and are likely to be compensated.

“Cases for more than 90% of the disputed amount have already been adjudicated by the competent authorities and will have to be paid by discoms,” a senior power sector veteran told FE.

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