MAHARASHTRA’S electricity generation and distribution companies are at odds with each other over pending dues amounting to around Rs 10,000 crore.
The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd (Mahagenco) has claimed that the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (Mahadiscom) has not paid its bills for purchasing power over the past six years.
Mahagenco Chairperson and Managing Director (CMD) Bipin Shrimali said that more than Rs10,000 crore was due from the discom, adding that it has affected the financial health of the state-owned generation company.
Both Mahagenco and Mahadiscom are sister companies governed by the holding company Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB). With a total installed capacity of 13,427 MW, Mahagenco is the largest supplier of power to Mahadiscom, which provides electricity to over 2.53 crore consumers across the state.
In its financial statement for the year 2016-17, the generation company had shown a total trade receivable of Rs 10,671 crore. It had further stated that Mahadiscom had not paid delayed payment charge (DPC) to the tunes of Rs 5,247.33 crore, outstanding as on March 31, 2017. Currently, some of the power plants of Mahagenco are lying idle for want of cash flow, said Shrimali. Shrimali added that owing to the outstanding amount, the generation company had been forced to borrow working capital to pay its coal bills and other debts. “The interest on the borrowings has a further implication on the financial health of the company,” he said, further alleging that Mahadiscom was not regular in its payment of bills.
Sanjeev Kumar, CMD for Mahadiscom, said a major component of the pending dues was disputed and the holding company is likely to take a decision on the matter. “We are very diligently paying our bills on time. The only outstanding amount is the DPC which is currently disputed,” he said. The dispute between the two companies over DPC has continued for years, said sources. The DPC is chargeable by the Mahagenco as per the Power Purchase Agreement between the two companies, if the payment of bills is delayed by over 90 days. Meanwhile, the discom continues to pay fixed charges to the generation company despite Mahagenco defaulting on the agreed units of supply.
Mahagenco, on the other hand, has proposed to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to be allowed to trade its excess power in the open market. “MSPGCL (Mahagenco) has registered as a bidder with MSTC Ltd’s national e-bidding portal, developed for short-term power sale/ procurement. As MSPGCL’s entire generation capacity is contracted with MSEDCL, it is pre-requisite for MSPGCL to avail MSEDCL’s consent for third party sale by MSPGCL. Despite repeated follow-ups for the same, MSEDCL has not provided any consent for the third party sale by MSPGCL. In the context of non-receipt of consent from MSEDCL, MSPGCL has not registered with Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) for sale of un-requisitioned power, as the registration charges are high,” the generation company told the MERC.