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Power Needs 9K CR

A whopping financial assistance of over Rs.9000 Crore is needed to mitigate the problem in Power Sector of Odisha, which has been plagued due to Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic.

While Government of India imposed lockdown from 22 March to contain spread of COVID-19 Pandemic, restriction on multifarious activities severely impacted Power Sector and ability of all kinds of consumers to pay the electricity bills.

With tight cash flow situation in the Power Distribution Sector, Odisha Government has approached Ministry of Power to facilitate availing assistance of Rs.3800 Crore as Working Capital for the DISCOMs and Rs.5375 Crore to clear outstanding dues payable towards power procurement. In total Rs.9175 Crore is needed, officials say.

Power Purchase dues are mounting and leading to delays in payment to generators and financial institutions as well, thus the entire power sector chain is being severely impacted due to lockdown.

Department of Energy (DoE) has reiterated the requirement for assistance to the Power Sector to manage tight cash flow situation as due to lock down there is severe collection shortfall for the Power Distribution Companies (DISCOM)s and clearing dues payable to generators towards power procurement.

Principal Secretary Energy, Bishnupada Sethi has written to Union Secretary Power Sanjeev Nandan Sahai to finalize the modalities for financial assistance to be provided through the agencies like Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to State DISCOMs.

Earlier, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy had written to Union Secretary Power proposing few steps to mitigate the problems envisaged in Power Sector due to an unprecedented COVID-19 Pandemic.

It was proposed that PFC, REC and other lending institutions should provide loan to Power Sector at concessional rate to generators, transmission and distribution companies for bridging revenue gaps at concessional rate.

Unless modalities are finalized at an early date to be provided by PFC, REC and other Financial Institutions, to State DISCOMs enabling Nodal Agencies such as GRIDCO to avail assistance so that the State of Odisha is not deprived of such assistance, said a senior official in Department of Energy.

In view of almost standstill activities of Industrial, Commercial as well as Government and Corporate Sector Offices, Power Demand of the State has substantially reduced.

Take for example, average power demand of the State was 3869 Mega Watt(MW) in April, 2019, which has gone down to 2682 MW in April, 2020.

During April, 2019, Peak Demand of Power was 5193 MW, which has recorded 3620 MW, official sources said.

Due to less demand of power the State Government has resorted to surrender comparatively high cost Inter State Generating Station (ISGS) Odisha Share Power in NTPC Projects.

With less demand of power and less collection of electricity bills, DISCOMs are facing huge challenge in running 24x7 Power Supply to the consumers.

However, the State Government has asked to continue uninterrupted power supply to the consumers and DISCOMs are continues to do so.

Under this backdrop, Ministry of Power is needed to ease financial hardships for DISCOMs to maintain their operations and debt servicing, urged the State Government.
 


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