The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) has decided to regulate power supply to the state from March 20, after the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL) failed to clear outstanding dues of Rs 504.41 crore.
At the same time, the Ministry of Power has also expressed concern over the inability of the MePDCL to avail the loan extended by the government of India to clear such dues and advise the latter to request REC and PFC to disburse the remaining instalments to NEEPCO, failing which sanction of the loan will be liable to be withdrawn.
In a letter to executive director of North Eastern Regional Load Despatch Centre, Power System Operation Corporation Limited on Tuesday, NEEPCO executive director (commercial) NK Mao said despite constant persuasion at various levels, MePDCL has failed to clear the outstanding dues payable to NEEPCO against purchase of power from its power stations.
Consequently, Mao said the dues of MePDCL continue to escalate and the outstanding in excess of 45 days have piled up to Rs 156.70 crore as on March 15 plus LPS of Rs 347.71 crores adding the total dues as on March 15 stands at Rs 504.41 crores.
“In view of the above mentioned situation, NEEPCO has no other option but to exercise its option provided for by central electricity regulatory commission (Regulation of Power Supply) Regulations, 2010.
Hence, notice is served for round-the-clock regulation of power supply to MePDCL from all the power stations of NEEPCO for a period of six months with effect from March 20 or till such time MePDCL liquidates its outstanding dues of more than 45 days, whichever is earlier,” he stated in the letter.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Power had also shot a letter to the Secretary in-charge Power Pravin Bakshi on March 12, regarding the failure of the MePDCL to avail the loan for clearing the outstanding dues.
It may be mentioned here that the government of India had launched the liquidity infusion scheme under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to enable the DISCOMs to clear their outstanding dues towards the CPSUs and that a loan of Rs 1,345.72 crore has been sanctioned to MePDCL by REC and PFC under this scheme.
It has been informed to this Ministry that so far MePDCL has availed of Rs 386.86 crore only from REC and PFC and this amount was disbursed to the CPSUs in January, 2021 as the 1st installment of the 1st tranche of the loan.
In the letter, Ministry of Power Joint Secretary Tanmay Kumar said “however, it has come to the notice of the Ministry that thereafter MePDCL has not made any further request to REC and PFC for disbursement of the balance sanctioned amount.”
Meanwhile, he said the Central GENCOs, particularly NEEPCO, continue to face acute liquidity crunch and are finding it extremely difficult to continue with normal operation of their power stations.
The letter also said that for a small company like NEEPCO the outstanding dues receivable from MePDCL of about Rs 504 crore has become an unbearable burden as routine operational expenditures have to be borne through funds raised from the market at exorbitant cost.
“Therefore, it is a matter of concern that MePDCL is unable to avail of this opportunity extended by the government of India to clear their dues.
In view of the above, MePDCL may be advised to request REC and PFC to disburse the remaining instalments to NEEPCO within March 15, failing which sanction of the loan will be liable to be withdrawn,” it further stated.