The Delhi Government and power distribution company BSES have reacted strongly to the allegations levelled by Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on Friday and termed his assertions “baseless”.

For its part, the Delhi Government said the allegations pertaining to the tariff orders passed by DERC chairman for 2010-11 were baseless. It said: “The High Court had in a case filed by Nand Kishore Garg clearly held in paragraph 51 that it did not have an ounce of doubt that no such order was made.”

“It said that ‘approval by one member or the other on the file does not result in making of the tariff order’. Key legal requirements like placing the matter before the Commission and deliberations on it had not happened. Therefore to refer to it as an order is a gross distortion of reality,” a Government clarification said.

The Government said it “passed on the representations received and advised the DERC to look into these points in the light of the National Tariff Policy. The DERC subsequently pointed out that the Government could not give the Commission any such advice, and the matter was not pressed further. In view of the High Court holding that no such order exists, this has become irrelevant.”

‘False assumptions’

Stating that “this so-called tariff order was nothing but the personal opinion of the then Chairman based on false assumptions,” the Government said, “the DERC itself in a subsequent order dated August 26, 2011, said that the assumption by the then Chairman of a surplus position of Rs.3577 crore was based of false premises, namely that such a cash surplus had accrued from there being availability of surplus power to the tune of 20811 MUs. This was itself incorrect and misleading.”

On the reasons for then Chairman reaching these conclusions, the Government said: “This was because generating stations like Mejia, Maithon, Koderma, Pragati-III (Bawana) and Jhajhar were not commissioned at the relevant time or supplying power to Delhi. Since no surplus power was available, the discoms could not have sold such “surplus” and made a profit of Rs.2.5 per unit as falsely alleged.” 

The Government said it was “also completely wrong to say that the Government was not in favour of CAG audit of the discoms.  The Cabinet had decided on December 26, 2011, itself that CAG should audit the discom from the inception. This has also been stated by the Government in its affidavit before the High Court. However, since the case is sub-judice, it would not be appropriate to comment any further.”          

In a statement, power distribution company BSES also termed the allegations against it as “completely baseless, wild and highly deplorable”.

“While the bulk power costs have risen by around 300 per cent in the last 10 years, the retail tariffs have merely increased only by around 65 per cent. Bulk power, which accounts for about 80 per cent of the total cost of the distribution companies, is entirely procured from government-run sources such as NTPC, NHPC, etc., through long term power purchase agreements (PPAs) where costs are approved by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission/ Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission,” the BSES spokesperson said.

“Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses in Delhi have reduced by more than 40 per cent which is a world record. This operational efficiency has saved Rs.30,000 crore in the past 10 years (and Rs 7,500 crore each year henceforth) by way of reduced subsidy burden on government and lower tariffs for consumers,” he added.