LAHORE: Receivables of independent power producers (IPPs) and other electricity producers have once again swelled and the figure has now reached Rs439 billion, raising the spectre of another hard-hitting summer for power consumers.
The current government, soon after coming to power in mid-2013, cleared Rs480 billion worth of circular debt, but after almost four years, the debt pile has again grown to around the same level, meaning the payment structure has not been streamlined yet.
According to official documents, pending payments to the power producers, including IPPs, reached Rs439 billion on February 15, 2017.
The high receivables may compound consumer woes in coming days as winter has come to an end and the government has failed to clear outstanding dues of 57 power companies.
Statistics show Kot Addu Power Company is to receive Rs6.82 billion, Hub Power Company is to get Rs6.4 billion, Central Power Generation Company Rs6.28 billion, Northern Power Generation Company Rs5.67 billion, Wapda Hydroelectric Rs2.4 billion and Jamshoro Power Company Rs1.83 billion.
These are just a few big receivables while many other companies are also waiting for their receivables to be cleared.
In the past, independent power companies had to opt for invoking sovereign guarantees to get the circular debt cleared. Some of the IPPs even went to the Supreme Court to resolve the issue.
Later, they agreed to withdraw the cases and resolve the dispute under power-purchase agreements as part of a deal with the government for the payment of outstanding Rs480 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2017.
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