Delhi govt asks power firms to cooperate with CAG audit

Delhi govt asks power firms to cooperate with CAG audit

Delhi Government today warned private power distribution companies that their licenses may be cancelled if they do not cooperate with the Comptroller and Auditor General which is scrutinising their finances.

In his address to the Assembly, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung said CAG audit of the private companies is being carried out to ascertain their financial position and the firms must cooperate with it.

"A CAG audit of electricity companies is being carried out since power distribution was privatised. Licences of those who do not cooperate in the process may be cancelled," Jung said. Power distribution in Delhi was privatised in 2002.

He said will not be a "silent bystander" on the issue and will not hesitate to take decisions.The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government last week had ordered a CAG audit of the finances of the three power companies -- BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd.

The companies have strongly opposed CAG scrutiny of their accounts. Jung said government was also committed to checking the electricity meters as there has been complaints of fast running meters.
In his address, Jung promised to bring reform in governance and said bridging the chasm between the citizens and government would be among the top priorities.

"Government will put an end to all symbols of privilege and power that distance the citizen from the government. No minister or MLA will use a red beacon on their cars. Special security will be avoided.

"We intend to take all steps to end corruption in government departments. Passing the version of Lokpal Bill for which Anna Hazareji had to undertake a fast will be a priority for the government," said Jung.

The Lt Governor observed that citizens of Delhi have "overwhelmingly voted for change" in the just-concluded assembly polls and his government would try its best to meet the expectations of the people.

"They have reposed faith in not only a new approach to governance but also to a new political culture that stresses on the need to place the citizen at the centre of thoughts, actions, and policies," he said.

He said Government intends to involve the citizens in the process of drawing up plans and projects especially those that affect the everyday life of citizens.

"Suggestions will be invited and wherever feasible will be incorporated into government plans for the development of the city. The concerns and worries of the citizen shall be duly included and accorded the importance they deserve. Government intends to touch the everyday life of citizens in a positive manner," Jung said.

The Lt Governor also promised to involve citizens in "selection and prioritising" projects at the level of the 'mohalla' and colonies.

"Government will empower citizens to choose the works they would like to see executed in their localities. They will be enabled to take decisions in mohalla sabhas on matters touching upon the quality of daily life in their immediate vicinity," said. On regularisation of unauthorised colonies, he said an action plan will be drawn up within a year to develop the settlements.

"This would benefit 30 per cent of Delhi's population that lives in such colonies. The plan shall be implemented rigorously and in a time-bound manner.

"My government shall also execute projects for providing clean and pucca houses to those presently condemned to live in the degraded environment of slums," he said. Identifying security of women as a major issue, he said Special Security Cells will be set up to ensure protection to them.

"A matter of deep concern is the security of women and girls. That 50 per cent of the population should be intimidated enough to avoid public spaces is a shame," he said.
"New courts shall be set up and new judges appointed so as to ensure that all cases involving harassment of women or girls are disposed of in three months. Similarly such number of courts shall be set up and judges appointed so that all other cases are disposed of in six months," Jung said.

Terming health and education as the "bedrock of any human and social development," Jung said the government was committed to "all round improvement" of these two sectors.
"Policies will be evolved and implemented to improve the standard of education in government schools so as to make them better than even that in private schools. More than 500 government schools will be set up in Delhi," he said. He said government will put an end to the system of donations in private schools which will have to make the fee fixation system more transparent.

"New hospitals shall be set up in the government sector that would more than match the treatment and facilities provided by hospitals in the private sector," Jung said.
The Lt Governor said the government was committed to providing regular jobs to those currently working on contracts.

"This would not only provide them secure incomes, but also increase their sense of job security. Presently, many employees are subjected to exploitation and uncertainty. This needs to end," he said.

Jung said the VAT regime would be reviewed and simplified. He also said that the government will provide subsidies to farmers like those available in other states.

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