Power minister RK Singh on Friday assured representatives of the power industry that he would speak to the Reserve Bank of India and the finance ministry about the new RBI guidelines, which the industry believes would add to the woes of the already-distressed sector. The minister had called the heads of 25 independent power producers (IPP) and the CMDs of NTPC, PFC and REC to discuss issues faced by the sector. The new RBI guideline was said to be the top agenda of discussion. Singh said he would look into the issue of irregular payment by discoms. The industry complained that discoms delay regular payments by three-four months, and currently receivables to IPPs stand at around `8,300 crore. Singh also assured that his ministry would formulate a methodology wherein the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) would issue orders on a suo motu basis to promptly compensate the industry for any development which comes under the ‘change in law’ category. IPPs are scheduled to receive `7,800 crore, which is currently stuck due to various delays in receiving orders from regulators.
Power producers said the sector is facing challenges from the aforementioned issues, and they cannot raise tariffs to meet additional costs. The minister also said the Centre would look into other matters such as faulty coal price indexation, coal shortage, environmental norms and power plants based on imported coal which are turning unviable due to sudden rise in price of Indonesian coal.