AAP government orders CAG audit of three private power companies
January, 04th 2014
Brushing aside objections from distribution companies (discoms) controlled by the Anil Ambani and Tata Groups, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has ordered an audit of their accounts by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
On Wednesday, senior officials of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd requested Delhi government officials to wait for the outcome of a case in the Delhi high court before asking CAG to audit their accounts. However, Kejriwal, who has promised to bring down power tariff by 50 per cent in Delhi, refused to oblige on the ground that the high court has not issued any stay against a CAG audit.
Reacting to presentation made by the discoms on Wednesday evening, Kejriwal told reporters that company officials did not come up any convincing reason as to why their accounts should not be audited. "We have issued orders for CAG audit and it will start from Thursday. People of Delhi have been demanding CAG audit in the accounts of discoms but the previous government did not go ahead saying that the matter is sub -judice. Discoms also stated that the matter is pending before the high court. But, there is no stay order against the auditing discoms' accounts through CAG."
CAG stopped auditing Delhi's discoms after they were privatised in 2002. The Delhi government owns 49 per cent of the discoms and it is represented by the chief secretary, as well as the finance and power secretaries in the boards of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, BSES Rajdhani Power and BSES Yamuna Power that cater to close to 45 lakh customers.
In February 2011, an activist body had approached Delhi High Court seeking CAG audit of the distribution companies. Delhi high court has scheduled next hearing on January 22.
"There is already a case pending before Delhi High Court where the litigant has sought CAG audit on our accounts. We requested the state government to wait since the matter is sub-judice," said a top executive of one of the discoms told ET after the meeting. Officials of distribution companies say that almost entire power supply to Delhi is procured from plants owned by central government owned NTPC and NHPC as well as state-owned utilities and CAG is already auditing their accounts.