Telangana top for power usage, but its discoms fare poorly | | Live Newspaper Hyderabad

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HYDERABAD: Telangana may have topped in per capita consumption of power in the country, 2,071 units, and ramped up its electricity generation in the last few years, but its two power distribution companies fared poorly in terms of operational and financial capabilties in an annual survey. The poor performance was attributed to high-power purchase cost than the benchmark and non-filing of tariff with state regulatory commission, continuous losses registered in the last three years.
The ministry of power (MoP) has been getting integrated rating exercises done for 41 distribution companies every year through private agencies — ICRA Analytics Limited and CARE Advisory Research and Training Limited — since 2013. The ninth integrated ratings were released by MoP on Friday.
The state’s power utilities Telangana Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSSPDCL) and Telangana Northern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSNPDCL) have been ranked as ‘Below Average Operational and Financial Performance Capability Between (Rating B)’ and ‘Low Operational and Financial Performance Capability (C+)’ respectively.
“The aggregate technical and commercial losses of TSNPDCL rose to 34.49% in the last financial year (2020-2021) as compared to 26.66% in 2019-2021. High power purchase cost at ₹5.26 per unit and non-filing of tariff petition within the stipulated timelines, non-receipt of subsidy from the state government and no automatic pass through of fuel cost have led to the poor performance of the discom,” the report stated.
Interestingly, both discoms, especially TSSPDCL, was earlier ranked ‘Moderate Operational and Financial Performance Capability (B+)’, but it has slipped to the below average ranking. Similarly, TSNPDCL slipped further from below average to low operational and financial performance capability. In 2016, TSSPDCL had achieved ‘A’ rating for its high operational performance.
Explaining the reasons, discom officials said the power utilities have been facing financial problems due to increased subsidy, operational cost and non-receipt of subsidy from the state government timely. The discoms presently have losses to the tune of about ₹20,000 crore.
To meet the power demand Telangana power utilities have entered into agreements with power producers. The other reason was in view of continuous elections, the state government did not allow the discoms to revise power tariffs as a result the utilities have not been submitting Aggregate Revenue Requirements (ARR) to the Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC).
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its recent report released in March, 2021, said TSSPDCL and TSNPDCL had incurred a loss of ₹8,018 crore of the total losses of power PSUS, ₹28,000 crore, in the past six years.
The rating agencies have suggested that the discoms should take steps for reduction in aggregate technical & commercial losses (AT&C) losses and improve their collection efficiency. They have to ensure timely receipt of subsidy due from the state government and file tariff petition with TSERC. Cost coverage should be improved through suitable tariff revision and cost rationalisation, the report said.

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