State to seek Rs 1345-cr loan for clearing power dues

SHILLONG: In an attempt to bail out the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL) from its perpetual financial mess, the state government has decided to go for loan of Rs 1345.72 crore for liquidating all the outstanding dues against purchase of power from various power generating institutions.
The amount, being borrowed from the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and the Power Finance Corporation (PFC), will ensure uninterrupted power supply to the power-deficit state.
Power Minister James Sangma told reporters that the entire outstanding liabilities related to NEEPCO, NTPC and OTPC which have been selling power to the state on credit. Giving details he said upto May this year dues for NEEPCO alone stood at Rs 651.95 crore inclusive of penalties like delayed payment surcharges. The MePDCL would approach the Ministry of Power and these generation companies for waiver of 60 per cent for delayed payment surcharges.
If the purpose of 60 per cent waiver of the surcharges as a one time settlement were to be omitted then the total outstanding dues would be reduced to Rs 1091.92 crore.” Power Minister informed.
Meanwhile, he said that the revenue collection of the State discom (MeECL) had been severely affected due to COVID-19.
“In view of this prevailing situation, there was a notification by the Government of India wherein it has announced Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan scheme to infuse liquidity to distress discoms in the form of loans back by the state government guarantee would be given to clear the liabilities,” he said.
Sangma also informed that the Cabinet has decided to constitute a High Powered Committee (HPC) consisting of the Chief Secretary, the senior most secretary of the Finance department, Planning and Power department to monitor the functioning of the MEPDCL on two major sectors to bring down the losses and revenue augmentation.

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