Power distribution companies have saved Rs. 12,000 crore interest outgo after states took over their debt as part of the Centre’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY), the Union power ministry has said. Governments of 16 states have taken around Rs.2.08 lakh crore debt of the distribution companies as per terms of UDAY agreements.
These loans were running at interest rates of around 11%-12% per annum and now be serviced by states at 7%-8.5%. A few discoms have also restructured their balance loan portion, reducing the interest burden by another 3%-4%, the ministry said in a statement issued on Tuesday. The average gap between cost of power supply and revenue has decreased to 45 paise in FY17 from 59 paise in FY 16 in the backdrop of reduced interest outgo, tariff rationalisation and improved billing, it said.
At all India level, billing efficiency has increased by 2% to 83% in 2016-17 while the average aggregate technical and commercial loss has come down to 20.2%. Power procurement cost has reduced in many states including Goa, Jammu & Kashmir and Gujarat. The average cost of power purchase has reduced to.`4.16 per unit from .`4.20 per unit in FY16.
While 16 states, including Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, joined Uday for debt recast, while 10 other states including Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Karnataka, Manipur, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Kerala joined for operational benefits. Puducherry is also part of the scheme for improving operational efficiency of its discom.
As per the scheme, total liability opted for restructuring by 15 states through bond issuances was Rs. 2.69 lakh crore. So far, states have issued bonds of entire .`2.09 lakh crore and discoms have issued bonds worth Rs.23,000 crore. Bonds worth .`37,000 crore are yet to be issued. In all, 86% of the restructurable debt of states has been restructured so far under Uday, the statement said.