PAC slams high-cost power purchase

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has taken exception to Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) buying high-cost power to meet peak demand without giving priority to short and medium term purchases available at cheaper rates.

In its report tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, the committee has pointed out the State government between 2008-12 purchased 23,989 million units of power at a cost of Rs 12,324 crore.

The rates varied between Rs 3.8 per unit to Rs 7.65 per unit.During 2011-12, the KPTCL purchased 3,344 MU (at Rs 5.65 per unit) under short-term purchase agreements; 2,748 MU (at Rs 4.26 per unit) under medium-term purchase agreements and 6,320 MU of high-cost power at Rs 7.07 per unit.

The PAC, headed by T B Jayachandra (Congress), has stated that lack of proper planning and priority by the KPTCL had resulted in the power utility opting for high cost power resulting in additional burden on the State exchequer.

Recommendations

The committee has recommended that the KPTCL should give preference for medium and short-term purchases and also buy power from co-generation units.

The committee has also recommended regularisation of Rs 9,575 crore excess expenditure incurred between 1989-90 to 2010-11 over and above budgeted grants.

The excess expenditure has been pointed in various reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports, Jayachandra said.

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