In the latest corruption charge against the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in Delhi, Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Tuesday ordered an investigation into alleged irregularities in the power subsidy scheme.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has claimed that the investigation was politically motivated and commissioned by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The AAP also linked it to the Gujarat parliamentary elections to be held later this year. Free power is one of the promises of AAP in Gujarat.
In addition to energy subsidies, Sazena has commissioned research into several works of the government of Kejriwal, including excise policy, classroom construction and hospital construction.
The BJP also fired another salvo at the AAP over the power subsidy scheme, claiming that Rs 3,200 in dues from private power distribution companies was waived. It also questioned why AAP leaders had been “appointed” to the boards of directors of discos that are joint ventures between private companies and the Delhi government.
According to sources at the LG office, Saxena Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar has ordered an investigation and a report to be filed within seven days of receiving a complaint about alleged “irregularities” in the power subsidy scheme.
The complainants, which include lawyers and lawyers, have alleged that there was a “mass scam” in the scheme. The allegations include that the Delhi government violated its own 2015-16 cabinet decision and failed to allow an audit even when grant payments of Rs 11,500 crore were settled in favor of BSES discoms BRPL and BYPL.
The BSES did not respond when it was asked to comment on the matter.
Deputy Prime Minister Manish Sisodia reprimanded Saxena in a strong letter, accusing him of interfering with the work of the elected government in a “politically motivated and unconstitutional” manner.
Commenting on the development, AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal said the AAP’s “free electricity guarantee” has been “very well received” by the people of Gujarat.
He added: “That’s why the BJP wants to stop the free electricity in Delhi. But have faith in me. I will not allow your free electricity to be stopped at any cost.”
Kejriwal also assured the people of Gujarat that “your power will also be free from March 1” if the AAP forms a government there. Energy subsidy is an important poll from AAP.
In his letter, Sisodia said the LG does not have the authority to issue orders on matters affecting the Delhi government except land, police and order.
He stated that the LG has regularly ordered investigations into decisions of the elected government in Delhi and claimed that these investigations were “illegal and unconstitutional”.
At a press conference, BJP’s national spokesman Sudhanshu Trivedi accused the AAP government of favoring the discos through the scheme.
“Why was the electricity subsidy not provided fairly and transparently to the citizens of Delhi? Why was it not given through direct benefit such as the central government and why intermediaries were used?” Trivedi asked.
He claimed that a benefit of about Rs 8,000 crore was provided to energy distribution companies by collecting a lower amount of late fees.
“When private companies were given the right to collect 18 percent in the name of late fees, why did the same companies pay only 12 percent to the Delhi government for the late fee. Where did this six percent profit go? about Rs 8,000 crore in recent years,” Trivedi claimed.
He also said that government officials were generally nominated to serve on the boards of directors of energy companies.
“But for the first time, the AAP nominated two of its office holders and a son of its MP on the boards of directors of the power distribution company. What was the (AAP) purpose behind this?” Trivedi asked.
BJP’s IT department in charge, Amit Malviya, claimed that two power discoms were given “undue” benefits by the Kejriwal government.
“Kejriwal gave improper benefits worth Rs 11,550 crore to two power DISCOMs and a windfall of 8,500 crore, which was extracted from the people of Delhi but paid to these private companies rather than the government,” Malviya tweeted.
A source in the LG office said: “The LG has asked the chief secretary to investigate alleged irregularities in the power subsidy amount provided by the AAP government to BSES discos and requested a report within seven days.”
The LG has also asked the chief secretary to investigate the non-execution of payment of energy subsidies to consumers through Direct Benefit Transfer as ordered by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission in 2018, the sources said.
The complainants have alleged that the AAP government, instead of recovering the dues of Rs 21,200 crore allegedly owed by the BSES discoms for power purchased by them from state-owned manufacturing companies, allowed them (discoms) to pay their outstanding to settle debt through grant fees, the sources said.
It was also alleged that the discos were allowed to charge a late payment fee (LPSC) of 18 percent from consumers, while they themselves paid LPSC at 12 percent to government power generation companies in Delhi.
“During the trial, the discos received a windfall of Rs 8,500 crore at the expense of the state treasury,” the complainants claimed.
Another allegation was that the implementation of direct benefit transfer (DBT) for subsidy payment to consumers, as mandated by DERC, was blocked by the AAP government with the aim of “disguising” the actual number of subsidy recipients and thereby “unverified amounts”. Pay. to the discos.
However, the Aam Aadmi party claimed LG’s investigative order is “another conspiracy” by the BJP to stop Arvind Kejriwal’s “victory car” in poll-bound Gujarat.
Authorities may continue with the investigation, but the AAP government in Delhi and Punjab will not stop the implementation of the free electricity plan, the party claimed.
(with PTI inputs)