The tug of war between the government and lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung over the post of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chairperson continues as the L-G has rejected the proposal to appoint Krishna Saini again.
Earlier this month, the Delhi government, after a cabinet meeting, had for the second time sent the file to the L-G saying that Saini be reinstated as chairman of the power regulator. In its note sent to the L-G, the government had also stated Article 239 AA of the Indian constitution and urged Jung to refer the matter to the President for a decision as there was a difference of opinion between the two sides.
However, sources in the L-G office told HT that Jung has once again returned the file while refusing to appoint Saini for the post. “The government’s point of difference of opinion is not tenable. The L-G has asked to simply rectify the illegalities committed during the DERC chief’s appointment. Even the high court in its order had specifically pointed at this case. A fresh process must begin soon,” said an official from L-G’s office.
Meanwhile, the government is in no mood to begin the process of fresh appointment.
“The government upholds appointment of DERC chief as every rule, right from seeking applications from public to forming an independent committee to select the names, was followed in the process,” said power minister Satyendar Jain.
When asked about work being affected due the post lying vacant, he replied, “Work is going on as usual in DERC. It is an independent regulatory body and can function with just one member as well.”
But discoms stated that no major decisions are being taken by the commission which is affecting their revenues. “Already the regulatory assets have run up to thousands of crores of rupees. Neither has the Multi Year Tariff been notified as yet nor the annual tariff revision is going to happen this year. It only worsens our financial burden,” said a discom official.