New Delhi: The three private power distribution companies in Delhi inflated their dues to recover Rs 8,000 crore extra from the consumers, the comptroller and auditor general has said in its report.
The 212-page confidential report is yet to be released and has reportedly indicted the 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.
Delhi government is likely to move court seeking expeditious finalisation of a report by CAG on finances of private power distribution companies and make the findings public so that electricity tariff can be reviewed.
Power Minister Satyendar Jain refused to comment on the issue saying the matter was sub-judice.
A top official said the government will wait for the final CAG report before proceeding in the matter, adding it has received only a draft report. He, however, asserted that tough action will be taken against the guilty.
“Government is exploring the legal opinion to move the high court to ensure early finalising of the CAG's report and make it public as soon as possible,” the official said.
He said government will slash the tariff drastically if the report on discoms duping consumers by almost Rs 8,000 crore and they having a healthy financial condition was correct.
The ruling Aam Aadmi Party asked the city government to take steps to publish the CAG findings at the earliest and rationalise electricity tariff based on them.
“The Delhi government should take steps so that the CAG report is made public at the earliest as whatever is known today is only through media reports. It should initiate criminal investigation in the case, prosecute the guilty, and recover the public money,” AAP spokesperson Deepak Bajpai told reporters.
A BSES spokesperson said the media report on CAG findings “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 said 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.
Asked about government's possible action if CAG finds the discoms guilty, a top Power Department official said government will act tough and persons found guilty will have to face an action.
Lashing out at the discoms, AAP Delhi unit secretary Saurabh Bharadwaj claimed, “BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) duped the people of Delhi by Rs 1,062 crore, BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) of Rs 860 crore and Tata Power-DLL (TPDDL) of Rs 1,098 core.”
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.”
In its first stint, the AAP government had ordered a CAG audit of all the three discoms, claiming they have been misleading the government and the DERC about their financialposition.
The discoms had gone to the court challenging the AAP government's decision. However, the Delhi High Court did not stay the CAG scrutiny.
The AAP government has been pressing the CAG to complete the audit as soon as possible.
On the media report about the CAG findings, the AAP said “the fraud played by discoms running into thousands of crores of rupees is just the tip of an iceberg. The real scam is that the then ruling Congress and Opposition BJP in Delhi came together to assist the private power companies to loot the people of Delhi since 2002 onwards.”
It 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 tariff was a major issue for AAP during the Delhi polls. The Kejriwal government had in February announced a 50 per cent subsidy on monthly power consumption up to 400 units till the government receives the CAG report on financial condition of the discoms.
The city has seen a series of hikes in power tariff in the past two years.
The tariff was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 followed by five per cent rise in February 2012. The rates were increased by up to two per cent in May 2012 and again by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July 2012.
It was hiked by up to three per cent in February 2013 and again by five per cent in August 2013. It was increased by up to 7 per cent in November last year and by up to six per cent in June.
The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is currently undertaking tariff revision exercise.
In a public-hearing organised by the DERC last month, 18 AAP MLAs had opposed any hike in tariff saying all the discoms are having sound financial condition.
Government sources said, if court gives permission, the CAG report will be tabled in the Assembly.
(With inputs from PTI)