The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found three power distribution companies in the national capital to be allegedly inflating dues from companies to the tune of 8,000 crore rupees. This is besides a number of other irregularities that include suppressing revenue.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said power tariff will come down if the report turns out to be true. "If whatever has come out is true, then it will be a very big thing. The scam of Rs 8,000 crore has surfaced. Delhiites will be benefited as tariff will have to be brought down. We have received a draft report and we are studying it. Let the final report come," he said.
The Delhi government has contemplated approaching the court to expedite the report so it can be implemented at the earliest.The CAG on 18 August released a draft report into the financial conditions of these three private companies.
Here are the highlights
- BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL) backed by Reliance Infra and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd inflated their previously-incurred losses.
- Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has been pressured to recover the "regulatory assets".
- A top official said that implementation of the report will cause a huge drop in electricity tariffs for the end consumer.
- The CAG report has mentioned that the discoms are "manipulating consumer figures". This along with inflating costs, buying costly power, suppressing revenue and favouring their group companies.
- The AAP government, during its first stint, ordered a CAG audit of all the three discoms. They claimed that the companies had been misleading the government and the DERC about their financial position.
- The discoms in return went to the court challenging the AAP government's decision. The Delhi High Court though did not stay the CAG scrutiny.
- The AAP demanded that the Delhi government should immediately ask the DERC to reject the discoms' petitions for power tariff hike and announce lowering of tariff.
- Power tariffs have been a huge problem for AAP since day 1. The Kejriwal-led Delhi government back in February, announced a 50 per cent subsidy on monthly consumption up to 400 units until the government received the CAG report on the financial conditions of the discoms.
BSES and TataPower Delhi Distribution Ltd were not happy at the draft report.
A BSES spokesperson said, "tantamount to blatant contempt of the order of the Delhi High Court, which has put a blanket prohibition on publication of any CAG audit report as the matter is sub judice." He added that the audit process is still not completed, and hence, it was premature to allege that the CAG has arrived at any adverse conclusions against the discoms.
A statement by Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd said the "allegations and claims made in some sections of the media in relation to the CAG draft audit report of discoms are speculative in nature. The veracity of facts cannot be ascertained and the matter is sub-judice."
(With inputs from PTI)