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Bengal takes Rs 1,022 crore loan from Centre to iron out discom liquidity stress

West Bengal has taken a Rs 1,022 crore transition loan from the Centre to help its power distribution company tide over liquidity stress amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The loan is part of the central government’s Rs 90,000-crore ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ package to assist stressed distribution companies.

The West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (WBSEDCL) has been facing financial woes with minuscule collections in April and May resulting in an over Rs 2,000 crore shortfall, officials said.

With a consumer base of about two crore, WBSEDCL caters to the entire state except Kolkata and a part of its adjoining districts.

“We have taken a Rs 1,022-crore loan to clear dues of various Central and state entities,” West Bengal Power Minister Sobhondeb Chattopadhyay told PTI.

The Centre had on May 13 decided to make an infusion of Rs 90,000-crore through Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC), as a part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.

Under this intervention, REC and PFC would extend special long-term transition loans up to 10 years.

According to reports, the 10-year loan to the West Bengal government has a three-year moratorium period and is repayable in 84 EMIs.

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