Cong gave undue benefit to pvt power units, alleges SAD

Cong gave undue benefit to pvt power units, alleges SAD

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. (DH File Photo)

The opposition SAD on Wednesday alleged that private power thermal power companies were given "undue benefit" of Rs 1,400 crore by the Congress-led government in Punjab and sought an independent probe into the matter.

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal alleged that the government practised “deliberate laxity” in pursuing disputes with private players.

“SAD demands an independent probe into the undue benefit of Rs 1,400 crore given to private thermal plant managements and an additional benefit of Rs 1,100 crore expected to be given on account of coal washing charges which had been falsely claimed by them,” Badal said in a statement here.

Through the washing process, impurities like ash, soil, rock are removed from coal.

Badal accused the state government of not pursuing the case against release of coal washing charges to private plants appropriately in the Supreme Court that had directed the state-owned power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) last year to pay coal washing charges to a private thermal plant management.

“This is a case of match fixing. It is because of this underhand deal with the private plants that the state will have to pay Rs 2,500 crore to them despite the fact that during the previous SAD-BJP government, the case was properly pursued and the contention of the private plants was rejected both by the state power regulator Punjab state electricity regulatory corporation (PSERC) and Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL),” claimed Badal.

Badal dared the Amarinder Singh-led government to cancel the power purchase agreements signed with two private thermal plants.

The dispute between PSPCL and private power plants arose after the latter sought coal washing charges from the state power utility. Though the PSERC and the APTEL ruled in favour of PSPCL, the apex court ruled in favour of private thermal plants.

Power rates in Punjab increased by 36 paise a unit from January 1 for domestic consumers on account of coal washing charges. 

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