The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) will initiate process of non-compliance against 20 power utilities, which owe Rs 517.50 crore as transmission charges to the state-run PowerGrid Corporation.
Transmission charges are recovered from designated inter-state transmission system customers (DICs) for providing services, including open access. Arrears from the DICs were due for over 60 days. Of the Rs 517.50 crore (as on January 17), the outstanding dues of utilities from the northern region stood at Rs 404.96 crore.
Most DICs had cited financial problems for non-payment of charges. PowerGrid Corporation said non-payment of transmission charges would severely impact its revenues and expansion plans. “We are committed to liquidate all dues by March,” said R M Nayak, chairman and managing director.
He said PowerGrid was a listed company and cash flow and debtor position were constantly being analysed by lenders, credit rating agencies and investors.
It had to maintain receivable not exceeding three months according to agreements with the World Bank and ADB, and failure to do so would be considered a default.
CERC on Wednesday said it had directed the DICs in its December 26 order to make timely payment.
“However, despite our directions, some of the DICs have not made payments. Except in cases where the matter regarding the amount due for payment is sub judice, we direct the staff to process the case for non-compliance of directions of the Commission by the defaulting DICs on account of non-payment of transmission charges and other charges.”
However, CERC has decided not to invoke 25A of the Open Access Regulations whereby the national load dispatch centre or regional load dispatch centre would not grant short-term open access to utilities who consistently default in the payment of transmission charges.