What is Praapti Portal?
Praapti Portal: Why in News?
Recently it was in the news that the DISCOM companies with outstanding dues have to pay 17 % more to the electricity producing companies. This is applicable to the discom defaulters. The total amount to be paid now is INR 1.02 crore.
In December 2020, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 45 days of grace period offered by generators, was INR 1,27,498 crore as against Rs 97,835 crore the year-ago.
What is Praapti Portal?
- It is a web portal launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Power.
- ‘Praapti’ stands for Payment ratification and analysis in power procurement for bringing transparency in invoicing of generators.
- The power distribution companies are able to clear the invoices and reply to claims raised by the generators on this portal
- To rein in errant distribution companies (discoms) that delay payments to power generation companies, the Power Ministry launched this portal
- Also as informed by the ministry, the portal will also compare and rank State discoms on outstanding bills and the frequency of clearing them.
- The portal is updated as and when an invoice is raised by the power generator
Praapti: About the Bills
- Power producers provide forty five days to discoms to pay bills for the electricity supply.
- Following a non payment, outstanding dues are counted as overdue and generators charge penal interest on them in various cases.
- To provide some relief to power generation companies or gencos, the Centre in August 2019 came up with a payment security mechanism.
- It was informed that under this mechanism, discoms would be required to open letters of credit to get continuous uninterrupted power supply.
- The central government had also given some breathers to discoms for paying dues to power generating companies when COVID-19-induced lockdown was implemented.
- The government later also waived penal charges for delayed payment of dues in this directive. This was an initiative taken by the government to help gencos to remain afloat. Later, the liquidity infusion package was increased to Rs 1.2 lakh crore.
Who all were overdue?
Discoms in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Haryana and Tamil Nadu were found as major defaulters with dues to power gencos, as per the data released.
What are Discoms?
- These are distribution companies that are responsible for the supply of power to the consumers like the industries, commercial, agriculture and domestic consumers.
- Distribution companies or discoms purchase power from the power generation companies (like NTPC) through power purchase agreements (PPAs).
- They then supply it to their consumers accordingly in their areas of distribution assigned.
- The key issue with the power sector is the continuing problem of the poor financial situation of state discoms.
To make discoms financially viable, UDAY scheme was launched. It stands for Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana - UDAY and was launched in November 2015. Out of the 28 states that implemented UDAY, 10 states showed either reduced losses or profits in 2019 itself. The scheme UDAY focused on interventions in coal, generation and transmission sectors as well.