Power ministry orders regulator to provide three months moratorium to discoms to pay dues

The Union power ministry has issued directions to power regulator Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to provide three months’ moratorium to discoms to make payment to generation and transmission companies and transmission and charge no penalty on late payment.

This will include payments by distribution companies to private power plants and transmission projects as well.

The power ministry has asked states to issue similar directions to the state electricity regulators,an official statement said.

“Due to the lockdown, consumers are unable to pay their dues to the distribution companies. This has affected the liquidity position of the Discoms thereby impairing their ability to pay to the generating and transmission companies,” the statement said adding the directions issued on Saturday have been taken to ease the liquidity problems of the discoms.

The statement said generation and transmission companies owned by Central PSUs will continue supply and transmission of electricity even to discoms which have large outstanding dues. ‘During the present emergency there will be no curtailment of supply to any discom,” it said.

Also the power ministry has reduced the requirement of maintaining bank credits by discoms in lieu of power purchase by half till June 30.

“Despite the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic, the whole workforce of the power sector – generation, transmission, distribution and system operations – is working round the clock to keep all homes and establishments lighted,” th statement said.

It is also said that around 70% of power generation is from coal based power plants. In order to maintain the continuity of supply of coal by domestic coal companies and transportation by railways, the ministry is in touch with the Ministries of Railways and Coal.

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