Lashing out at the SAD-BJP government for the power shortage in the state, former minister of state for external affairs and member of Indian National Congress (INC) Preneet Kaur on Tuesday asked the regime to clarify its position on the present situation.
She said that the condition was likely to worsen soon, when the paddy season will be at its peak amidst the forecast of a poor monsoon.
In a statement issued, Kaur asked the government to spell out the status of various private power plants in the state and when they would be completed.
In a scathing attack on the Badals, she said, "These unscheduled power cuts have belied the tall claims made by the Badals that Punjab would soon become a power surplus state."
Kaur further added that the Punjab government was "begging" the Centre for coal which they had "cold shouldered".
Highlighting the poor fiscal health of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), she said that a major reason for this was the failure of the state government to compensate the PSPCL for power supplied free of cost to the agriculture sector.
This, Kaur said, prevented the PSPCL from buying coal for power generation and led to a crisis in the state.
The PSPCL in turn regularly increased the tariff to exorbitant rates to make up for the losses and as a result, electricity rates in the state were one of the highest in the country, she said.