The Opposition BJP has succeeded in making the government agree for an inquiry into reported violation in purchase of electricity meters.
On Wednesday, the state government agreed to initiate an inquiry by Additional Chief Secretary of the Finance Department into charges made by the BJP in the Legislative Council that Bescom had violated Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement (KTPP) Act norms in purchase of electricity metres.
Making the announcement in the Council, Leader of the House and Information Technology Minister S R Patil said that the inquiry would be completed and the report submitted within three months.
The BJP on Tuesday had raised the issue in the House, stating that Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom), in August 2013, had given contract to a Kolkata-based company for purchase of electricity meters worth Rs 180 crore without calling tenders. This was in violation of KTPP Act norms.
The BJP members accused Energy Minister D K Shivakumar of being involved in the violations and had sought a probe by a House Committee or the Lokayukta. The members had staged a dharna in the well of the House in support of their demand.
As soon as the House assembled on Wednesday, the BJP members led by Leader of the Opposition K S Eshwarappa trooped into the well of the House and reiterated their demand.
Patil said the government had already cancelled the tenders and fresh tenders had been called for purchase of meters. Patil said ordering a Lokayukta probe would send a wrong message that all officials in the department were corrupt.
The Additional Chief Secretary of the Finance Department would conduct the inquiry and submit report, Patil said. Following the minister’s statement, the BJP members withdrew their dharna.