Two private power producers in Punjab were paid an estimated Rs 900 crore during 2016-17 as fixed charges and not for generating electricity, a technical audit has revealed.
Twelve other power-generation plants — owned by the National Thermal Power Corporation and National Hydro Power Corporation — got Rs 600 crore as fixed charges for non-purchase of power during the time these were ready to generate at optimum capacity.
The fixed charges paid to the 14 companies form the basis of the technical audit of all power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed by the cash-strapped Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) on behalf of the Punjab Government.
Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh, after assuming office, had said that he wanted to review all power purchase agreements by the previous SAD-BJP government. The Capt Amarinder government said the review should be carried out within four months.
A preliminary examination of PPAs revealed that the fixed cost paid to Nabha Power Limited was Rs 1.44 per unit of power not bought by the state, and Talwandi Sabo Power Limited Rs 1.20. In comparison, most public sector plants supplying power to Punjab were getting 50 paise to Re 1 per unit as fixed cost, barring one or two, where the fixed cost was as high as Rs 1.46 (from the gas-based plant).
The penalty clause in these PPAs will also be examined in the audit.
There is no use finding fault with the EVMs now when the party leadership committed a historic blunder with regard to the overall strategy in the elections. First, it should look within to find out reasons that stopped AAP’s march to power,” Chandigarh-based The Tribune quoted Mann as saying.