New Delhi: BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna, which supply power to 70% of the capital, have sought help from the AAP government to secure a loan to settle dues. The discoms have already sought a loan of Rs 11,006 crore from Power Finance Corporation (PFC) to stabilize their financial situation. However, the loan is subject to getting a ‘comfort letter’ from the Delhi government establishing the fact that BSES is a joint venture with the government offering public utility service.
Reliance Infra, which owns the two BSES dicoms, has committed to pledge its entire 51% of shareholding in the two companies to PFC for availing the loan. But officials said that, pending the issue of letter of comfort by Delhi government, the loan was not possible. Sources said discoms have been pursuing the issue of a comfort letter since early January but are yet to received a confirmation. The companies also said there was no legal binding on the government for providing the letter, in the event the BSES discoms defaulted on loan repayment.
“It is essential for maintaining uninterrupted supply of power in Delhi, particularly with summers approaching fast, that the PFC loan covenant is satisfied at the earliest and Delhi government issue a letter of comfort to PFC for facilitating the draw down of sanctioned loan. With the very huge revenue gap that have been built up as acknowledged by DERC in its tariff order, overdues of BSES discoms to generators/ transmission companies have been going up consistently. Some interim arrangement has been made to pay partial dues of the generators but in the wake of rising dues, generators are threatening regulation of power to BSES,” claimed the two discoms.
Power minister Satyender Jain was not available for comment, but a senior government official said they were waiting for official communication from PFC before committing to anything. “The PFC proposal was also considered and approved by the board of directors, which includes senior goverment officials, during their meeting held on March 26, 2015,” said a source. Discoms claimed that the loan would help BSES in meeting its payment obligations as well as realign its liability portfolio.
“The tenure of loan will be for a period of 7-8 years and the scheme will also help BSES to save interest of around 1.5-2% from current levels. The disbursal of this loan is a win-win situation for all the stakeholders, including BSES, Delhi government, consumers and central and state generation and transmission utilities,” the companies said.
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