Govt to seek legal opinion before action against discoms

Govt to seek legal opinion before action against discoms

The reported financial bungling by private power distribution companies (discoms) based on a CAG draft report raised political temperatures on Tuesday.

While the AAP government stuck to a cautious approach on legal action against the three discoms which reportedly inflated their dues to be recovered from consumers by almost Rs 8,000 crore. On the other side, the opposition parties — BJP and Congress — have sought immediate action against them.

Official sources said the AAP government may move court only after seeking legal advice and studying the final findings of the government auditor. Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain also refused to comment on the issue saying the matter was sub-judice. The AAP also said the discoms’ plea for a power tariff review should be rejected by the power regulator.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said the helplessness expressed by the government was “weak stand”.

“Kejriwalji, immediately stop Rs 2,000 cr subsidy to private discoms. Ensure reduction in tariff,” he tweeted.

Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay has demanded a CBI probe. “A CBI inquiry should be ordered into the role of the ministers, the directors on the board from the side of government, DERC, power companies in which the Delhi government and companies have share of 49:51 per cent for the last 13 years,” he said.

Meanwhile, the discoms said the “selective leak” of the CAG draft report was “unfair” as the statements of the companies before the auditor have not come before the people. “We are shocked at the highly irresponsible, factually incorrect, mischievous and distorted reporting in a section of the media on a purported CAG audit report on the Delhi discoms,” spokesperson for two of the companies — BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna — said in a statement.

“These media reports 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,” the statement added.

The firms also said the audit process was still incomplete and it would be premature to say CAG arrived at any adverse conclusions, adding that the two companies will respond to observations, as and when asked to do so by the auditor.

An official in the Delhi power department said the government has just received the report and the next step would depend on the final outcome of the review of discoms’ accounts.
 

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