Representational image/grid
Representational image/grid
Barrie Taylor

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, 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 66 per cent year-on-year (5 per cent month-on-month) to Rs 1.20 lakh crore, as of June.

Discoms' total outstanding stood at Rs 1.31 lakh crore (+66 per cent yoy/+5 per cent mom) - close to its November 2015 peak of Rs 1.35 lakh crore.

Discoms in key states - Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, and J&K - account for 82 per cent of the total dues to gencos.

According to an analysis done by Emkay Global Financial Services, discoms' financial health has deteriorated during the lockdown due to a steep fall in power offtake across the revenue-generating commercial and industrial (C&I) segment.

However, while the collection efficiency initially fell sharply to 25-35 per cent in April-May, it showed a marked improvement in June, rising to 55 per cent.

Under Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, the Centre has announced a Rs 90,000 crore liquidity window for discoms to help them clear their dues towards generating companies. But with dues rising upto June, the Centre is considering to increase it to Rs 1.25 lakh crore on the request of states. However, the performance of the special window has not been encouraging as till date, the disbursement stood at only Rs 1,810 crore.

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Free Press Journal