IPPs seek liquidity window to clear dues

Reeling under a liquidity crunch, independent power producers (IPPs) in the country are seeking liquidity window through a special line of credit by the Power Finance Corporation to power distribution companies (discoms) to clear their outstanding power bills of ₹50,000 crore up to March 31, 2020.

This, since the IPPs do not have funds to buy coal or pay freight charges. Once the coal stocks at the plants deplete, they may have no other option but to shut down the plant till their liquidity situation improves. The Association of Power Producers (APP) has written to the government seeking the liquidity window through a special line of credit by PFC/REC for discoms to clear their outstanding power bills of around ₹50,000 crore up to March 3, 2020.

APP’s letter to Raj Kumar Singh, the Minister for Power, New & Renewable Energy, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, has also sought to request the Coal Ministry and Railways for deferment of advance payment for coal and railway freight by way of suppliers’ credit.

This comes at a time when the revenue collection by discoms has fallen by as much as 80%, and payments to generators have also crashed correspondingly due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virus relentless

Seeking special dispensation for the power sector, APP director general Ashok Khurana said, “With the lockdown restrictions continuing in many parts of the country and virus infections still on the rise, it is apprehended that revenue collection figures of May may be worse than in April. Many generators have now reached a stage where they do not have money to buy coal, or pay salaries or pay for transport and LTA charges.”

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