Opinion | Why discom losses continue to hurt despite Modi govt’s UDAY scheme


Opinion | Why discom losses continue to hurt despite Modi govt’s UDAY scheme

By last week, more people had begun to realise that the emperor actually had no clothes on. Maharashtra Energy Minister, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, informed the state legislative assembly that at least three (state-owned) power companies had to repay loans worth Rs 66,000 crore.

These included the Maharashtra State Electricity Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) which has an unpaid loan amount of Rs 35,310 crore at an average interest rate of 10.16 percent.

The next was Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL or Mahadiscom) which had unpaid loans of Rs 23,173 crore, followed by Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company (MSETCL or Mahatransco) with an outstanding of Rs 6,733 crore. The interest on these loans was 10.54 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.

Spokespersons for both the central and the state governments had claimed for the past few years that the situation was under control. The Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) was launched in November 2015, and even Crisil — India’s premier credit rating company — touted its virtues.

It was a programme aimed at financial turnaround and revival of electricity distribution. But it was evident by the middle of last year that UDAY wasn’t working. Read More

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