After a two-month break in releasing the sanctioned loan instalments or clearing bills of work done, two public sector finance companies – Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Power Finance Corporation (PFC) – funding the 5×800 megawatt Yadadri Super Thermal Power Station (YTPS) resumed clearing the bill submitted by Telangana State Power Generation Corporation (TS-Genco) on Thursday.
The two public sector undertakings (PSUs), financing ₹22,000 crore – (REC ₹17,000 crore) and PFC (₹5,000 crore) – for the execution of YTPS by TS-Genco, have been releasing the sanctioned loan instalments every month on getting the bills sent by the Genco. “However, for reasons better known to them, the two agencies have not released instalments for the last two months affecting the progress of the project, which is already delayed due to the two COVID-19 pandemic years”, official sources said.
Minister for Energy G. Jagadish Reddy went on record earlier in the day accusing the BJP-led Government at the Centre of conspiring to create hurdles in the execution of power projects in Telangana by stopping release of bills pertaining to YTPS as part of its tactics to make the State toe its line of implementing reforms in the energy sector.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao told the Assembly earlier this month that the Centre was forcing the State to agree to privatisation of the power distribution business including metering the energy being supplied to farm sector, which is free round the clock in Telangana. He, however, made it clear that Telangana would not privatise the distribution sector, come what may.
The authorities of power generation utility have been pursuing for clearance of bills (release of loan instalments) since January from when it was stopped but there was not much response. “I spoke to the senior authorities of the two power finance agencies over phone explaining that the delay in clearance of bills was affecting the progress of YTPS and even told them that such delays would also have impact on debt servicing”, a senior executive of the utility told The Hindu.
Further, it is understood that the decision makers in the two power finance agencies were suggested not to allow political influence stating that “we are all commercial organisations and professional approach alone will keep them buoyant”. Including the releases on Thursday, the loan availed from REC was about ₹10,000 crore and an additional ₹2,000 crore from PFC so far. The revised estimated cost of YTPS is ₹29,700 crore.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jagadish Reddy alleged that the Centre was also forcing power producers not to sell energy to Telangana as the State was procuring the shortfall in the tied-up supplies and demand through daily purchases.
According to officials, the daily demand of energy has been in the range of 250 million units (MU) to 280 million units since February last week with procurement in the range of 30 MU to 40 MU a day in the price band of ₹15 per unit to ₹20 per unit during the peak hours.