Andhra govt, local bodies owe over 25,000 cr dues to discoms

Published on Nov 13, 2021 12:21 AM IST

This was revealed in a letter written by the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) to the state government and three power distribution companies – Eastern Discom, Central Discom and Southern Discom – on November 9, a copy of which was seen by HT.

The Andhra Pradesh government, led by chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, and the local bodies in the state together owe <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>25,257 crore to power distribution companies towards tariff subsidy and electricity consumption charges. (PTI)
The Andhra Pradesh government, led by chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, and the local bodies in the state together owe 25,257 crore to power distribution companies towards tariff subsidy and electricity consumption charges. (PTI)
By, Hyderabad

The Andhra Pradesh government and the local bodies in the state together owe 25,257 crore to power distribution companies towards tariff subsidy and electricity consumption charges.

This was revealed in a letter written by the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) to the state government and three power distribution companies – Eastern Discom, Central Discom and Southern Discom – on November 9, a copy of which was seen by HT.

APERC said while the state government had not released the subsidy on power tariff to the extent of 15,474.43 crore to the three Discoms, the local bodies and various government departments have not been paying power bills amounting to 9,783.37 crore to the Discoms over a period of time. The letter does not specify the period.

The total amount of dues to be recovered by the three Discoms from the government and the local bodies has shot up to 25,257.70 crore, it said.

“The situation looks alarming, to say the least, and the very survival of the Discoms is at stake. If not addressed, it will also adversely impact the consumers in the state,” the commission said in the letter.

The commission found fault with the Discoms for not collecting the dues. “It is regretted to note that the Discoms have not realised the seriousness of the situation and are not making their best efforts to collect the dues, in spite of the proactive steps taken by the commission to support them and bail them out of the financial crisis,” the letter said.

The commission directed that the Discoms serve fresh notices to the local bodies and the government departments offering them the last chance to clear the pending dues within 14 days failing which power supply be disconnected.

“Further, the Discoms are also directed to pursue with the state government to release the pending tariff subsidy amounts on a war-footing. The Discoms have been asked to submit the compliance reports to the commission on the above directions within 15 days,” the letter said.

Energy department secretary Nagulapalli Srikanth could not be reached for his comment on the regulatory commission’s letter. Calls and text messages to the secretary went unanswered.

Telugu Desam Party lawmaker and Public Accounts Committee chairman Payyavula Keshav alleged that the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government was pushing the Discoms into a state of bankruptcy.

“As per the APERC guidelines, the state government has to pay the power tariff subsidy to the Discoms in advance before the tariff order is approved every year. But it never happens. These dues could be pending since the days of the previous TDP regime, but it is the responsibility of the government to clear the dues periodically,” Keshav said.

With the state government failing to pay the tariff subsidy to Discoms on time and not clearing the power consumption charges of its departments for long, the Discoms are forced to go in for borrowings from financial institutions for purchasing power.

“The interest burden on these loans is being recovered from the consumers in the form of True-Up charges. So, the ultimate sufferers are common people,” the TDP leader said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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