Delhi Discoms Inflated Dues By Rs 8,000 Crore, Says CAG Report

19/08/2015 9:51 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Machinery operates near stockpiles of coal at the NTPC Ltd. Badarpur coal-fired power plant in Badarpur, Delhi, India, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Barely 16 miles from central Delhi, the 40-year-old coal-fired power plant stands testament to the bargain struck by India's capital city: The world's dirtiest air for electricity. Photographer: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Delhi's private power distribution companies — BSES Yamuna Power Ltd., BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. — had inflated the amount that consumers owe them, by as much as Rs 8,000 crore, said a report by the comptroller and auditor general.

The CAG said in the 212-page report that there is ample scope to reduce tariffs in Delhi, according to a report in the Times of India. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has also said the same before, and the CAG review was ordered by his administration in January 2014.

Activists and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party have said that such high tariffs are unjustified. Soon after coming to power, Kejriwal slashed tariffs by half for those consuming upto 400 units.

The companies manipulated consumer figures and sale details, and their actions — buying expensive power, inflating costs, undue favours to group companies and suppressing revenue — were at odds with consumer interests. The companies also paid significant fixed charges to power generating stations but hardly bought any power from them, the report says. It also questions the conduct of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, which is the regulatory authority for power companies in the capital.

“If whatever has come out is true, then it will be a very big thing. The scam of Rs 8,000 crore has surfaced. Delhiites will be benefited as tariff will have to be brought down. We have received a draft report and we are studying it. Let the final report come,” Kejriwal said.

The companies have denied CAG's assertions, the report said. If the Kejriwal government accepts the final version of the report, it would drastically reduce the financial liabilities claimed by the power distribution companies and might also lead to a reduction of tariff.

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