Conduct of parties sufficient to determine the mode of payment

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission: In an order passed by Gireesh B Pradhan (Chairperson), AK Singhal, AS Bakshi and MK Iyer (Members) on a  petition filed under Section 79(1)(f) of the Electricity Act, 2003 read with Regulations 44 & 45 of CERC (Terms and Conditions of Tariff), Regulations, 2014, the petiton challenged the arbitrary actions taken by NTPC.

The petition was dismissed clearly stating that nowhere explicitly or implicitly in the regulation the Letter of Credit has been recognized as the payment security mechanism and NEFT/RTGS as the mode of payment. The Commission in its previous order had noted that Regulations 34 and 35 of the 2009 Tariff Regulations clearly provides the payment through Letter of Credit and hence it was clearly allowed according to the 2009 Regulations.

Therefore, in terms of the 2014 Tariff Regulations, the Letter of Credit has now become a mode of payment security mechanism rather than mode of payment through which a beneficiary could avail rebate. The Commission also observed that, there is no fundamental difference between the 2009 and 2014 Tariff Regulations as regards the provisions related to late payment surcharge and “Payment Mechanism” in the existing Power Purchase Agreement, and hence it does not contravene the provisions 44 and 45 of Tariff Regulations, 2014. Disposing of the petition, the Commission directed the respondent being a leading power generating company in the country to be more careful in raising invoices in future. [Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited v. NTPC Limited, Petition No.132/MP/2017, decided on 27-11-2017]

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