Govt expands discom liquidity window to cover dues to June end

New Delhi, (Samajweekly) The government’s Rs 90,000 crore liquidity window for discoms to help them clear their dues towards power producers is being enhanced to Rs 1.2 lakh crore to cover the heightened stress due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The special liquidity widow would now cover discoms dues to gencos up to June 30, 2020 instead of the Aatmanirbhar Package scheme that covered discom dues till March 31.

As per analyst reports, discoms dues have risen from a level of around Rs 90,000 crore till March to about Rs 1.29 lakh crore by June end as the Covid-19 related lockdown squeezed demand and almost stopped payment from power consumers. Several states had asked for expanding the scope of the liquidity scheme to cover for this period as well.

Under the scheme, central financing agencies, the Power Finance Corporation and the Rural Electrification Corporation, have disbursed loans to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore as of September 11, out of total sanction of about Rs 68,000 crore.

The government recently also relaxed 25 per cent working capital loan limit set by the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (Uday) to allow all discoms to avail loans under the liquidity infusion scheme. The move will basically help Tamil Nadu and Bihar to borrow under the scheme.

Additionally, as Union Power Minister R.K. Singh recently told IANS, the late payment surcharge rates on delayed payments have been reduced to 12 per cent from about 18 per cent to further provide relief discoms during the difficult period of the pandemic.