Arvind Kejriwal's Delhi govt all set to order CAG audit of private power companies

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal meets people during Janta Darbar at his residence in Kaushambi in Ghaziabad. PTI Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal meets people during Janta Darbar at his residence in Kaushambi in Ghaziabad. PTI
SummaryArvind Kejriwal is targetting recalcitrant power distribution companies, having accused them of profiteering.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Delhi government may be all set to order an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) into the finances of the capital's three private power distribution companies, an issue on which the ruling AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) had led street protests in the past.

Defying doctor's advice, an unwell Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met CAG Shashi Kant Sharma to discuss the issue before going into a cabinet meeting.

Arvind Kejriwal said the Delhi government is of the view that audit of these companies can be done. But under the provisions of law the three companies were being given the opportunity of being heard on the government audit of their finances.

"They are being given time till tomorrow morning by which they will have to give their representations. The cabinet will meet in the evening," he told reporters before leaving for his meeting with the CAG.

At the cabinet meeting today, the issue of revising the power tariff may be discussed.

Arvind Kejriwal added in today's cabinet meeting, they would discuss issues relating to unauthorised colonies.

After the meeting with the CAG, Kejriwal said the official auditor is ready for the job.

The cabinet meeting tomorrow will go through the representations to be made by the power companies and "we will take a decision."

"Then there will be an order by the Lt Governor," he said denying that a decision has been taken and only formalities are being completed.

He said the CAG told him it all dependent on how much work is involved and how fast the companies would provide documents.

Asked how confident he was about exposing the alleged irregularities of the power companies, he said the audit will bring them out.

The BJP and AAP have been demanding CAG audit of finances of the discoms, alleging huge irregularities by them. However, all the three companies BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd have been opposing it.

In July the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) had also said that there should be a thorough scrutiny of finances of all three companies by the CAG.

The BJP has been seeking CAG audit into finances of discoms referring to a DERC proposal in May 2010 to cut the tariff by around 25 per cent citing their healthy financial position. The Delhi Government had restrained the regulator from going ahead with the tariff order.

Although DERC was strongly arguing for a cut in tariff, the three-member regulator, following retirement and subsequent appointment of two new members later in 2010, had taken a sympathetic approach to the demands of the discoms and effected a series of tariff hikes.

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