coal india: State-run power Gencos not making timely payments to CIL
Non-payment led supply curtailments by coal companies in August and September has been one of the main reasons for low coal stock positions in states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, many of these states are reporting load shedding as many projects are under outage due to lack of coal, a senior government official said.
Total dues to coal companies from states stood at ₹15,000 crore as on October 6, as against ₹16,000 crore on September 30. Of this, dues by state power generation companies were at ₹10,500 crore and central undertakings at ₹4,500 crore.
However, currently coal companies are not regulating supplies to the state-run power generating stations as low coal stocks triggered a power crisis in the country.
As on October 6, coal dues of Maharashtra power generation company were Rs 2,233 crore, Punjab at Rs 108 crore and Rajasthan at Rs 253 crore. The coal dues of Maharashtra were Rs 2,615 in July, Rajasthan owed Rs 860 crore in September and Rs 2182 crore in August. Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have been releasing payments in frequent tranches, said the government official.
Union coal and power ministries had shot warning letters to states as early as August when electricity demand started picking up. Letters to clear coal dues to several states were also sent in April this year by the two departments.
Reminders were sent to state chief ministers and principal energy secretaries by coal minister Pralhad Joshi, power secretary Alok Kumar, and senior officials of the two ministries in September first week too.
Joshi wrote to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot as the state was regulating coal intake even in mid-September.
“In order to avoid such crisis situation, I would request you to impress upon RRUVNL not to regulate coal intake and build sufficient coal stocks to tide over the coal requirement, particularly before the monsoon season,” he said.
“As you are aware, we are witnessing sharp increase in demand of electricity. As coal-based thermal power plants share most of the power demand, we need to ensure that there is adequate coal stock available at the power stations,” Kumar said in his letter to various state governments.
“The issue of payment of dues which have piled up at the state genco (generation company) end has been flagged by the coal ministry/Coal India many times. Looking at the critical coal stocks at power plants, I again request you kindly to advise the generation companies to clear the outstanding dues of coal companies in a time bound manner and maintain adequate coal stock to cater to the increasing demand of power,” he said.