SAD-BJP doles out crores to private power plants: Jakhar

By Jasjeet Singh

April 15, 2016

Jalandhar: Senior Congress leader Sunil Jhakar on Friday alleged that the ruling SAD-BJP combine was involved in a major power sector scam, where it doled out crores of rupees to private power plants namely Rajpura, Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal Sahib. Jakhat said that if voted to power, congress would investigate the scam and recover the massive amount doled out to the three private power sector plants in the state. Addressing a press conference, Jakhar said he had raised a question regarding the functioning of the three private power plants in the Vidhan Sabha session in the year 2011-12. Jakhar said that he had raised a question that what rate would be given to the new private power plants in the state to purchase power. “In a written reply to my query, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had stated that in the year 2011-12, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) purchased power at the rate of Rs 3.38 per unit from National Grid and at Rs 2.89 per unit from private power plants”, he said.

The senior congress leader said that according to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Power Purchase Agreement with Talwandi Sabo Power Plant, the rate was fixed at Rs 2.36 paise per unit while for the Rajpura Power Plant, the rate was fixed at Rs 2.89 per unit. The power rate at Goindwal Power plant was fixed at Rs 2.69 per unit. Further, talking about the scam, Jakhar said that in the financial year 2015-16, the ruling SAD-BJP government purchased power from Talwandi Sabo at the rate of Rs 6.66 per unit while at the Rajpura power plant, it was Rs 4.05 per unit, which was much higher than the actual rate fixed in Power purchase agreement in the MoU.

Jakhar maintained that for the year 2016-17, the rate to purchase power from Rajpura plant was finalized at Rs 4.25 per unit and from Talwandi Sabo, it wad fixed at Rs 7.50 per unit, which was very high. “This despite the fact that Rs 950 crore penalty was imposed on Talwandi Sabo plant and Rs 250 crore penalty was imposed on Goindwal Sahib for not making the power plants functional by the year 2013 as per the MoU agreement”, he said. Terming this as a ‘Mother of all scams’, Jakhar said that till date not even a single penny of penalty was recovered from the plants rather the state government gave Rs 1000 crore to the private power plants for not purchasing power last year. This year, the amount doubled to Rs 2300 crore.

“Till September 30 last year, the Punjab government had already paid Rs 6000 crore to these private players to purchase power. Congress would conduct an inquiry by a sitting judge of high court, as these power plants were owned by Ambanis and the Adanis, the major corporate players in the market. We would get an inquiry done by a sitting judge of high court”, he said, adding that 100 to 200 unit power would be supplied to weaker section free of cost from the amount recovered from the private power plants.