Regulator says revenue enough for doing so; discoms to send protest letter on Monday.
With Delhi Electricity Regulatory Comm-ission (DERC) saying it finds BSES distribution companies in a comfortable revenue zone, it has directed them to liquidate all dues from September 2011 onwards to power suppliers and transmission utilities by February 1. The discoms are expected to file a fresh affidavit tomorrow.
In an order dated January 25, DERC said it has observed that the gaps in revenue collection indicated during the first seven months of the year in the case of both BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) could have been eliminated if collection efficiency had been near 99.5 per cent.
The regulator in its order said this, coupled with other indicators such as large net cash surplus in December 2011, (Rs 158 crore in case of BRPL and Rs 165 crore in case of BYPL), appear to indicate that revenue realised by the utilities is sufficient to liquidate the dues from September 2011 onwards, in respect of generation and transmission utilities.
Reacting to the order, a BSES spokesperson said, "We have examined the observations and will be submitting a detailed response tomorrow, which suitably addresses each of the directions issued in the said order." He said the company had already given a detailed affidavit on the issue. "We stand by our data,” he said.
For the accumulated dues before September 2011, DERC has directed both firms to repay once the IDBI loan is sanctioned. DERC also said it has noticed that there are unexplained discrepancies in the information relating to power purchase by both BRPL and BYPL.
A BSES spokersperson said DERC was yet to respond to their submissions on the earlier data / affidavits filed with them. "We will also submit in our affidavit being filed that since each of the observations was made without putting BSES to notice, as also without calling upon BSES discoms or giving it an opportunity to explain the monthly filings and cash flow statements (which it has being regularly giving to the commission in the prescribed format), nor was there a hearing on the issues raised, the new affidavit will place cogent reasons with respect to the observations of the commission as being erroneous and unjustified," said the spokesperson.
Last month, the Delhi government had decided to infuse fresh equity of Rs 500 crore in BSES to help it sustain. Reliance Infrastructure, the parent compnay, also plans to infuse Rs 520 crore, which will enable BSES to avail a loan of Rs 5,000 crore from IDBI Bank after the initial payment of Rs 1,020 crore.
Both the Delhi utilities have dues of Rs 3,000 crore towards power generation companies, including NTPC. The Delhi government and Reliance Infrastructure had infused a total of Rs 576 crore in 2002 when BSES was formed. Reliance Infrastructure holds 51 per cent equity in the discom.
BSES had expressed its inability to pay the dues. Subsequently, NTPC had also served a notice to the company, threatening suspension of power supply. NTPC supplies 2,000 Mw to BSES, which accounts for 70 per cent of power distributed in Delhi. NTPC has now extended the deadline for BSES to make the payments. DERC had also last month slapped notices on BSES, asking why its licence should not be suspended for failing to clear the dues.