August 18th, 2015
The Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) in its 212-page confidential report has indicted three private power distribution companies (discoms) of inflating the tariff rates.
The report says that the three companies in Delhi are under the scanner for inflating dues to be recovered from the consumer by almost 8,000 crores.
The confidential report accessed by Times Of India nails three power distribution companies – BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL) controlled by Anil Ambani’s Reliance group, and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) — on several counts.
The firms manipulated the consumer figures and scrap sale details, and took action detrimental to consumer interests, says the report.
The firms bought costly power, inflated costs, suppressed revenue and dealt with other private companies without tenders. They also gave undue favors to group firms. CAG has questioned the conduct of the Electricity Regulator Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC)
Arvind Kejriwal had visited the CAG office within days of becoming chief minister in 2014 || Image: dailymail
The CAG audit ordered by 49 days AAP government in January 2014, endorses its claims that high power tariff was unjustified. Reducing power tariffs was among AAP’s important election promises in the 2013 and the 2015 Delhi elections. Arvind Kejriwal had visited the CAG office within days of becoming chief minister for the first time in 2014, to start the process for an audit. The discoms tried to stall the audit by claiming CAG had no jurisdiction over them and even moved Delhi high court against it. The court, while declining to stay the audit, said its report should not be published without its consent.
Besides vindicating its stand, the audit has given the AAP government another reason to smile: if the power regulator DERC is able to incorporate CAG’s findings in next month’s tariff announcement and lower rates, the government will be able to silence those who have criticized it for slashing tariffs with subsidies.