Delhi’s power distribution companies have been lying to the government and the public about a supposed cash crunch. The doubt was confirmed on Monday by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) through audited accounts of the three firms.
The letters to the chief executive officers of North Delhi Power Limited, BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna, the regulator has, in fact, revealed that the three discoms are sitting on a combined cash profit of over Rs 1,000 crore.
BSES officials said that they were preparing a rebuttal to the letter. “It is an interpretation issue. Our accounts have been wrongly interpreted,” said a senior discom official.
Reputed auditing firms hired by the discoms themselves have audited the accounts of these firms. “When they (discoms) made representation to the Delhi government saying they were poor and were not in a position to carry out operations for want of cash, they cleverly did not disclose these figures even though the audited accounts were available with them,” said a senior power official.
On May 4, responding to the representations of the three discoms, the government had stalled the imminent tariff order — an unprecedented intervention — and asked DERC to “advise” the government on the concerns of the discoms.
“The letters carry no interpretation or imaginative number crunching . They are plain facts as derived from their own accounts,” the official said.
Hired by NDPL, credit rating agency ICRA has, for instance, said the Tata-backed discom was so financially healthy that it did not need to fully utilise its bank loans. One of the discoms’ grouses was that a low power tariff coupled with steep power purchase costs had rendered them penniless and taken away their credit worthiness in the market.
But NDPL’s credit worthiness has improved in the past one year as suggested by its LAA and A+ classification — signifying high credit rating with minimum risk for the lender— by the rating agency. Similarly for the Reliance-backed BSES discoms, the assets-to-liability ratio is a healthy 2.25:1 (BRPL) and 2.47:1 (BYPL) — showing huge assets and minimum liabilities.
Where’s the crunch?
The assets-to-liability ratio of Reliance-backed BSES discoms is a healthy 2.25:1 (BRPL) and 2.47:1 (BYPL) — showing huge assets and minimum liabilities.
Tata-backed NDPL’s credit worthiness has gone up in the past one year. Credit rating agency ICRA has said NDPL is doing so well it doesn’t even need to fully utilise its loans.
NDPL, BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna have a total cash reserve of Rs 1,000 crore.