Maharashtra minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule admitted that a letter granting power tariff waiver to business conglomerate JSW had been cleared by oversight by the officials of his department.
Maharashtra energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule admitted that a letter granting power tariff waiver to business conglomerate JSW had been cleared by oversight by the officials of his department.
The letter was stayed immediately, he added.
Yesterday, Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant had alleged that Bawankule, in collusion with the energy department officials, had on August 14 cleared an “out-of-turn” waiver of Rs 572 crore to JSW.
After an RTI query was filed, principal secretary, energy, Mukesh Khullar stayed the decision, Sawant alleged.
“The decision was immediately stayed and there was no loss of revenue. An independent inquiry by another department will be held. The allegations of Congress spokesperson are baseless,” said the minister.
The earlier Congress-NCP government had granted a tax waiver of Rs 546 crore to JSW, Bawankule said, adding “no file relating to the tax waiver has been brought now to my department’s consideration.”
In a statement released here, Bawankule stated that the original file based on which the order was issued had been lost in the 2012 fire at Mantralaya.
“The energy department had sought the original documents of the incentive scheme from the industries department and thereafter the matter was supposed to have been referred to the finance department,” it said.
“However, the concerned desk of the energy department considered the proposal afresh and extended the duration of the waiver up to 2019 and placed it before Principal Secretary Energy Mukesh Khullar for approval. The Principal Secretary Energy by oversight cleared the file and the orders were issued on August 26,” the minister said.
When asked whether the decision to stay the waiver was taken after the RTI query was filed, he denied it.
Meanwhile, Sawant sought to know whether the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would take action against Bawankule for this lapse.