New Delhi, October 4
In a fresh flashpoint between Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and the AAP-led government, the former today ordered a probe into alleged irregularities in the power subsidy scheme, evoking a strong reaction from CM Arvind Kejriwal who claimed the move was aimed at stalling the free electricity initiative in view of the Gujarat elections.
Sources said Saxena had asked Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar to conduct the inquiry into “irregularities” in the subsidy amount given by the AAP government to BSES discoms and submit a report in a week. The action followed a complaint which raised issues of “impropriety and discrepancies” in the scheme, the sources said.
Saxena has also asked the Chief Secretary to probe the non-implementation of subsidy payment to consumers through the direct benefit transfer (DBT) as ordered by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission in 2018, the sources said.
The complaint also alleged the government, instead of recovering the dues of Rs 21,200 crore allegedly owed by the BSES discoms for power purchased by them from state generation companies, allowed them (discoms) to settle their outstanding through subsidy reimbursements.
It was also alleged the discoms were allowed to charge late payment surcharge at the rate of 18 per cent from consumers while they themselves paid it at 12 per cent to the government-owned generation companies.
“In the process, the discoms were provided a windfall gain of Rs 8,500 crore at the cost of the exchequer,” alleged the complainant.
CM Kejriwal linked the probe to the Assembly polls in Gujarat, where he is engaged in hectic campaigning. He claimed the AAP’s free electricity “guarantee” had been received “very well” by the people of Gujarat. “That’s why the BJP wants to stop free electricity in Delhi,” he alleged.
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia also shot off a letter to the L-G, accusing him of bypassing the government and ordering inquiries into its works in a “politically motivated and unconstitutional” manner.
Complaint flags ‘irregularities’
- Subsidy payment to consumers through DBT not implemented
- Rs 21,200 cr dues of discoms settled via subsidy reimbursement
- Discoms charged 18% surcharge from consumers, paid 12%
- Made a windfall gain of Rs 8,500 crore at the cost of exchequer
Bid to stall initiative ahead of Gujarat poll
The people of Gujarat have liked AAP's idea of free electricity, which has prompted the BJP to obstruct the power subsidy scheme in the Capital. — Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM
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