‘Submit daily reports on letters of credits or face regulation’, Ministry of Power raps Odisha's power loading centres
In a recent communication, the Ministry has asked SLDC to submit status report on daily basis about opening of LCs by power distribution companies as per its June 28 order.
BHUBANESWAR: Taking a tough stand on States defaulting payment of power bill to central generating stations and delay in offering letters of credit (LC) as payment security mechanism under power purchase agreements (PPA), the Ministry of Power has asked the State load despatch centre (SLDC) to comply with the direction issued earlier for power regulation.
In a recent communication, the Ministry has asked SLDC to submit a status report on daily basis about opening of LCs by power distribution companies as per its June 28 order.“Power will be scheduled for despatch only after a written intimation is given to the appropriate load despatch centre, regional load despatch centre (RLDC) for inter-state generating stations (ISGS) and SLDC for respective state, mentioning that LC for the desired quantum of power in favour of the generating stations have been opened by the distribution company (Discom). The LC opened by the discom need to be confirmed by the generating company,” the Power Ministry said.
Faced with power shortage to the tune of 1000 MW, the State is buying power from ISGS through Grid Corporation of Odisha Limited (Gridco) to meet the shortfall. Since Gridco is buying bulk power on behalf of discoms, the State-run power trading utility is required to open LC. However, sources in Gridco said the State has nothing to worry as the company has opened adequate LC against ISGS. The State trading utility has been paying power bills in time.
According to PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification and Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators) portal of the Ministry of Power, the State has an outstanding dues of `590 crore which remained unpaid for nearly two years (723 days).Disputing the amount, Gridco said it has challenged the Bill raised by central power generating companies and got relief from appropriate forum. The central agencies have again challenged the decision in higher forum.
In June, the Ministry approved the payment security mechanism making is mandatory for discoms to open LCs in advance from a week to a month as per the PPA beginning August 1, 2019. These LCs will be invoked if the discom defaults in payments to the power generation company beyond the 45 days or 60 days grace period for clearing dues.