Telangana fumes over Centre’s missive to pay ₹6,757 crore power bill to Andhra
Telangana energy minister G Jagadish Reddy and officials said Andhra Pradesh owed the state ₹17,828 crore and should be told by the Centre to pay it too
HYDERABAD: A missive from the Union power ministry on Monday that asked Telangana power utilities to pay ₹6,756 crore for power purchase dues to Andhra Pradesh within 30 days has angered the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government led by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao which questioned how the Centre could issue the directive without hearing Telangana.
The Centre has given Telangana 30 days to make the payment.
In a letter to Telangana chief secretary Somesh Kumar, the Union power ministry said AP power generation corporation supplied power to Telangana power distribution companies (discoms) after the bifurcation of the state from June 2, 2014, to June 10, 2017. This power was supplied as per the existing power purchase agreements under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act for both ongoing projects and projects under consideration.
In the letter, the power ministry’s deputy secretary (energy) Anoop Singh Bisht said Telangana hadn’t paid for the power supply during this period despite several reminders. Bisht added that the Centre has received several representations from the Andhra Pradesh government in this regard and there was no dispute on record on the outstanding power bill- the principal amount of ₹3,441.78 crore, and late payment surcharge of ₹3,315.14 crore (upto July 31, 2022), as per the applicable provisions.
“As such, Telangana must pay the power dues to Andhra Pradesh for electricity supplied to them as per the orders of the Government of India issued under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014, within 30 days,” Bisht said.
Telangana energy minister G Jagadish Reddy said the Centre’s letter was a kind of witch-hunt against the state.
“It clearly shows that the Centre has a grudge against Telangana and is conspiring to push the state into darkness. It has never reacted to the requests made by Telangana on power purchase dues and is now issuing unilateral directions based on the representations given by Andhra Pradesh,” Reddy said
A senior Telangana power transmission corporation said it was unfortunate that the Centre took a unilateral decision without taking into consideration the claims of the Telangana power utilities.
“The fact is that Telangana itself to get ₹17,828 crore from Andhra Pradesh, while Telangana discoms only have to pay ₹4,887 crore to AP Genco up to December 31, 2021. Even after deducting the dues, the net receivables by Telangana from AP is around ₹12,940 crore,” the official said.
He said the payments due from Andhra Pradesh to Telangana include: ₹2,975 crore on account of debt servicing of Anantapur and Kurnool districts, ₹322 crore towards inter-state sales, ₹4,746 crore towards market purchases due to stoppage of thermal power by Andhra and Rs.1,411 crore for hydel power purchase.
“Further, APTransco has to pay Telangana ₹712 crore as its share in employees trust at the rate of 7.5%, ₹190 crore as transmission and state load dispatch centre charges, ₹612 crore towards discom bonds along with other charges of ₹215 crore,” the official added.
He said the power utilities of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, at a joint meeting held on August 19, 2019, broadly agreed upon settlement dues between the two states. Telangana subsequently wrote several letters to Andhra Pradesh to request for settlement of all the disputes at the state level instead of a standalone adjustment of dues payable by Telangana.
“Ignoring the requests made by the Telangana power utilities, AP Genco approached National Company Law Tribunal in 2020 to settle the dues but in September 2021, it withdrew the case. Later, it moved the Telangana state high court to claim the dues. The Telangana power utilities, too, filed a counter-case. The issue is now sub-judice,” the Telangana official said.