SHILLONG, March 5: The government of Meghalaya has paid around 25% of the total loan amount received under the first tranche of the Atmanirbhar program to settle outstanding contributions from power generation companies.
Energy Minister James Sangma said he had briefed Union Energy Minister RK Singh on efforts by the state government to settle unpaid contributions to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and other power generation companies.
He had met Singh in New Delhi to discuss the regulation of electricity by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) leading to the imposition of power cuts in the state.
Singh assured that he would find something to ensure that the regulation of power by NTPC is taken away, Sangma said.
“At the moment, there is a shortage of about 25% of the total electricity demand in the state, resulting in six hours of load shedding in the Meghalaya,” he said.
The Energy Minister declined to give a timeline, but said the government was doing its best to resolve the load shedding problem within 48 hours. The chief minister said Thursday that the load shedding would be resolved within 48 hours.
The government of Meghalaya signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with NTPC in 2017 under which the state must pay a fixed fee even without electricity being taken.
According to Sangma, the Bongaigaon thermal power plant in Assam was commissioned in 2017, but the tariff set to draw power from the plant was too high and unsustainable for the Meghalaya government.
“We communicated to the Union Ministry of Energy that Meghalaya and other PPA signatory states were negatively affected due to the high electricity tariff and decided not to draw electricity from the plant. . Unfortunately, being a signatory to the PPA, we have to pay a fixed fee to NTPC that has accumulated over the years, ”Sangma said.
When asked why NTPC is regulating electricity when Meghalaya does not get electricity from the company, he said that according to a 2019 ordinance issued by the Indian government, the electricity schedule is communicated to the Northeast regional load distribution center by production companies as and when. when setting up the letter of credit (LC). Subject to the availability of the LC, the producing companies notify the load distribution center for the programming of the power.
“Because the LC was cashed in February, we were asked to provide a new LC which is a challenge for MeECL,” he said while adding that the last LC was 12 months and the new LC will be six months at Rs 18.5 crore per month.
Sangma also said that the government of Meghalaya will have to meet certain conditions before receiving the second tranche of the loan under the Atmanirbhar program to settle the pending dues of Rs 1,345 crore.
He said that some payment has already been made and the government must now recalculate the dues to be paid.

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