31 March 2019: As many as 34 power companies have accumulated Rs 1.4 lakh crore of NPA for Indian banks while 41 corporates across sectors, including those from infrastructure, textile, telecom, sugar, steel, energy, power and fertilisers have Rs 84,000 crore piled up NPAs which have taken the bad loan total to astronomical Rs 2.24 lakh crore, petitioners opposing RBI’s February 12 circular on resolutions of debts have submitted to the Supreme Court.
Quoting a report of the 37th Standing Committee on energy giving NPA details of 34 power plants, the petitioners said these plants which have number of banks ranging from 2-19, have accumulated over Rs 1.40 lakh crore . The power companies are seeking Supreme Court intervention in setting aside or quashing an RBI order of February 12 last year where the apex bank laid down strict norms for NPA resolutions within 180-days among other rules.
“75 companies have a debt of Rs 2.24 lakh crore”, the petitioners stated. The RBI has already contested the claims of these corporates’s petitions saying 180 days is a reasonable period for achieving implementation of Resolution plan.
Power, shipping and sugar companies have challenged the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) February 12 circular which has identified about 30 companies, which have loans over Rs 2,000 crore and are stressed. Many of them were power companies and they have already challenged the RBI’s circular in various courts.
Earlier this month RBI defended the February 12 circular, telling the SC that intention behind the circular was to give banks more powers in resolving stress and the 1-day default rule is to ensure banks & borrowers put a risk management framework in place. SC has reserved its verdict.
The 1-day default rule of RBI states if a deafulter fails to pay even 1 day after the deadline of loan payment, then banks have to come up with a resolution plans and, if they don’t, approve the resoluion plan within 180-days, then the banks will have to take the company to insolvency. This rule was mostly criticised by companies.
The prominent corporates where payments are due are Adani Power Maharashtra (Rs 9,463.29 crore), Damodar Valley Corpora (Rs 9,756.42 crore), Jaiprakash Power Ventures (Rs 8,719.16 crore), KSK Mahanadi Power Company (Rs 14,165.12 crore), Jindal Thermal Power (Rs 5,594.21 crore), Prayagraj Power Generation (Rs 9,883.28 crore), Jaiprakash Power Ventures (Rs 8,719.16 crore), GNR Chhatishgarh Energy (Rs 5,325.28 crore) and DB Power (Rs 5,930.56 crore) among a host of others.
Among the consolidated NPA list of other corporates VOVL, an oil company having a 17-bank consortium of lenders owes Rs 21,657.54 crore to them. Matrix Fertiliser and Chemicals owes 11 bankers Rs 4135.12 crore. Essar Bulk Terminal, an infra company owes Rs 1,088.82 crore and Rolta India has a debt of Rs 3,400 crore.
The new framework of RBI prescribed a strict 180-day timeline over which banks are required to unanimously agree on the resolution plan, failing which the stressed account would have to be referred for resolution under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
Power companies argued that the circular would push even power assets that were close to achieving loan restructuring in to insolvency.
Power ministry officials also spoke out against the February 12 circular seeking some relaxation in norms, especially with respect to the one-day default rule, attributing the stress in the sector to delayed payments by electricity distribution companies of India (discoms), lack of power purchase agreements and irregular coal supply.