Run-up to polls: Private gencos want Tamil Nadu to clear dues

Independent power producers have asked poll-bound Tamil Nadu’s state-run electricity distribution company (discom) to clear their dues to ensure uninterrupted supplies. At the end of January, Tamil Nadu owed Rs 19,325 crore to power producers, 40% of which was payable to private thermal power firms such as Vedanta, GMR, DB Power, ILFS Energy and Jindal Steel and Power.

Using the Rs 11,091-crore loan, Tamil Nadu received through the Centre’s liquidity infusion scheme, the state’s payment trend to power generators had improved between October and December 2020.

However, since the scheme is designed to disburse loans in two tranches, private power producers want the state to avail the second tranche of the loan at the earliest so that the balance dues can be cleared as soon as possible.

As much as Rs 30,230 crore has been sanctioned to Tamil Nadu in total under the liquidity infusion scheme, to be disbursed through PFC and REC.

“Given the impending elections in the state of Tamil Nadu, our members are keen to ensure uninterrupted power supply to Tangedco (state discom) without resorting to invocation of letter of credit (LC) to avail payment or reporting the matter to Posoco (national load despatch centre) to avoid triggering undesirable consequences,” the Association of Power Producers said in letter addressed to the chairman of Tangedco. Under the Union power ministry’s LC mandate, load despatch centres does not allow any discom to draw power from generators if it has not issued advance LCs worth the total value of electricity to be supplied.

Even with the Rs 46,074 crore disbursed since September through the Rs 1.25 lakh crore liquidity infusion scheme, overdues — outstanding of 45 days or more — of discoms across the country stood at Rs 1.27 lakh crore at January end, 27% higher than the same period in last year.

financial express
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