With Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung’s sudden resignation, the Delhi government has halted the process of appointing a new chairperson for the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) and also that of the Board of Directors of distribution companies.
DERC is capital’s power regulator and is responsible for fixing tariffs, apart from making other important power-related decisions.
It was around a week before Jung’s resignation that the power department had prepared the file for starting a fresh process of selecting the power regulator’s chairperson and member. At present, the commission has just one member, BP Singh, owing to which no major decisions like revising tariffs are being undertaken.
The tug of war between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and Jung over the post of DERC chairperson had been on for months as the L-G had rejected the appointment of Krishna Saini while the government stood by its decision.
Sources said the government was now trying to reinstate Saini’s appointment. Besides, last week Saini also met Union power minister Piyush Goyal.
In a bid to resolve the issue of appointing Board of Directors (BoD) in discoms, the government is likely to put up the agenda in the upcoming cabinet meeting. “The government had sent a file suggesting a four names, but the L-G had quashed it. He gave three fresh names – that of the chief secretary, the power secretary and the finance secretary – and had asked the government to suggest the independent nominees,” a government official said.
The Delhi government has 49% stake in each of the three power discoms in the capital and has at least five directors in 11-member boards. Ever since the Delhi High Court in August quashed its previous nominations for not taking prior approval from the L-G, the board has no representation of the government.
Other decisions which were affected due to the power tussle include the proposal to penalise discoms for unscheduled power cuts which was floated by the government.