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Rajasthan: Discoms trip on payment to solar firms raises NPA fears

The discoms have not paid the dues for the past one year running into an estimated Rs 250-300 crore. The non-payment has also led to developers stalling ongoing projects, resulting in job losses in the sector.

Dec 09, 2019, 11.58 AM IST
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The discoms have not paid dues to the tune of ₹250-300 crore for the past one year to solar developers
(This story originally appeared in on Dec 09, 2019)
JAIPUR: Now, the government’s payment crisis has hit the solar sector with the small power developers in the state staring at a prospect of their loans turning NPAs. The discoms have not paid the dues for the past one year running into an estimated Rs 250-300 crore. The non-payment has also led to developers stalling ongoing projects, resulting in job losses in the sector.

The issue of discoms not paying for the power they are buying from the developers was on Wednesday raised in a meeting under chairmanship of Member (Planning), Central Electrical Authority (CEA).

Sunil Bansal, general secretary of Rajasthan Solar Association, who attended and raised the issue in the meeting, said, “Majority of the small developers do not have strong credit facilities. They have to pay bank EMIs and for operation, maintenance, and administration. One year-long outstanding payment hampers their financial capability which in turn has a cascading impact on ancillary industries, and people dependent on them.”

All three discoms in Rajasthan – Ajmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur – have stopped paying the solar power developers of 12 projects of 1 MW each under RPSSGP scheme, Renewable Energy Certificate projects and 65 megawatt under Rajasthan Renewable Corporation Ltd.

This also casts a shadow on the success of Kusum scheme rolled out by the state last week for which 325 megawatt tender has been floated. Additionally, Kusum scheme does not provide enough margin for MSME sector and it would not be possible to work with wafer thing margins given the payment crisis, added Bansal. Sandesh Sharma, Member (Planning), CEA, assured all developers and associations that government is serious on the issue to resolve and will take appropriate action. He said, the question has also been raised in discussed in parliament.

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