Non-realisation of Rs 9,500crore dues puts state-run miner in a fix

Hyderabad: Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) is currently suffering from accumulating dues, amounting to Rs 9,500 crore, from coal buyers. The non-payment of dues is creating a pressure on cash flows, and the state-run coal miner is not in a comfortable position to pay salaries. Addressing the issue, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao announced a 28 per cent bonus to the employees for 2018-19 financial year, against the 27 per cent in the previous year. However, Singareni employees were anticipating a 30 per cent bonus.

Reportedly, while TS Transco owes Rs 5,000 crore to Singareni, TS Genco owes the latter Rs 2,800 crore. Furthermore, AP Genco’s Rs 600 crore is also pending due to the struggle between the two Telugu states. Singareni is also yet to receive more than Rs 1,000 crore from NTPC and power generators in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Singareni recorded a profit of Rs 1,766 crore in 2018-19 financial year, and according to market reports, the state government gave a cheque of Rs 5,600 crore to Singareni two days ago and immediately took it back. During the past five years, SCCL paid Rs 27,467 crore as taxes to the Telangana government and the Centre. The turnover of the company rose to Rs 25,687 crore from Rs 11,928 crore in five years. Singareni also contributed Rs 1,844 crore to six districts under the District Mineral Fund Trust (DMFT). This fund is being spent on various infrastructure developments.

Two years ago, Singareni ventured into power generation by setting up a 1,200 MW power plant at Jaipur in Mancherial district. While the company has been supplying power at a cheaper rate of Rs 3.42 per unit to the Telangana government, they had approached the Appellate Tribunal seeking a hike in the tariff. On the other hand, Singareni is purchasing power from Telangana power distribution companies (discoms) at Rs 6.72 per unit.

During the ongoing budget session, the CM had announced that the Rs 5,772 dues had been paid to Singareni, but union leaders demanded to know the year for which it was paid. Generally, state government deducts its dues from the royalty paid by Singareni. Energy experts point out that Telangana discoms owe about Rs 12,000 crore to several power-generating companies in the country.

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