Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the greatest ever power scandal in the country was gradually unravelling in the state, where deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal handed over power projects to private companies on a platter.
“It is resulting in a loss of hundreds of crores to the state exchequer, which was being passed on to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited consumers,” said Amarinder.
He said if voted to power, the Congress government would review these projects to make up for the losses and ensure that the state’s interests were protected which have otherwise been surrendered to the private power companies by the Akali-BJP government.
“What was the logic in making commitment to private companies for buying power? The state, which is already reeling under financial crisis, has to make payment to the companies without consuming their power, he said. The brunt was being borne by the consumers who were being slapped with exorbitant bills to facilitate payment to the private companies, the former chief minister said.
Against the prevailing practices and the recommendations of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission that power projects to private companies should be allotted through competitive bidding, Sukhbir allotted these through the memorandum of understanding route, he said.
“Thanks to the poor terms and conditions agreed upon to by Sukhbir, it is a strange paradox that while the industry in Punjab was being provided power at the rate Rs 5.51 to Rs 6.22 per unit, the state power corporation was prepared to sell power at Rs 3.60 per unit only,” said Amarinder.