Discoms’ dues to generators rise 34% to Rs 1.26 lakh cr

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a wider impact on the country’s power sector in the current financial year with the acute slowdown witnessed in the first quarter period carrying on further, albeit at a lot lower levels, affecting both demand and supply, and hiking the stress levels of state discoms.

According to analysts, the poor run for the sector during the pandemic has led to a further deterioration in the financial position of the power distribution companies (discoms) as their pending dues to power generation companies (gencos) have shot up again.

As per the power ministry data, discoms due to gencos increased 34.4 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1,25,743 crore as of end of October 2020 and Rs 1,068 crore more than at the end of September 2020.

The rise is despite the Rs 1.2 lakh crore liquidity window opened by the Centre under the Aatmanirbhar mission. While the liquidity being released by REC and PFC is helping discoms clear their dues to gencos, their overall poor financial position keeps adding to outstanding every month.

Discoms’ total outstanding stood at Rs 1.39 lakh crore (+28 per cent yoy/+3 per cent mom) — breaching its November 2015 peak of Rs 1.35 lakh crore.

Discoms in key states — Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, and Telangana — account for 79 per cent of the total overdue to gencos.

According to an analysis done by Emkay Global Financial Services earlier, discoms’ overdues could take a while to moderate as power generation saw a sharp pick-up in October 2020 against which additional receivables could be formed.

However, the improvement in discoms’ collection efficiencies and increased disbursement under the Aatmanirbhar scheme should curtail further expansion of overdues, it added.

The Central government has extended the liquidity package under the Aatmanirbhar scheme to Rs1.2 lakh. Till date, PFC and REC have sanctioned loans worth Rs1.18 lakh crore to discoms. Of this, Rs 31,100 crore worth of loans have been disbursed to 11 states.

As per the brokerages report, among all discoms, the Rajasthan discom has the highest share in the total overdue followed by Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Of the total overdues to gencos, CPSEs have the highest share at followed by independent power producers, state gencos and renewable energy producers.

Among private gencos, Adani Power has the highest share in the total overdue while NTPC has the highest overdue among the CPSEs.

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