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Kejriwal mulls CAG audit of Delhi’s pvt power distribution companies

New Delhi, Dec 31 (PTI) :The Delhi government may be all set to order an audit by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India into the finances of the capital’s three private power distribution companies, an issue on which the ruling Aam Aadmi Party had led street protests in the past.

An unwell Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, defying his doctor’s advice, met the CAG, Shashi Kant Sharma, to discuss the issue before going into a cabinet meeting.

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 on Monday, the issue of revising the power tariff may be discussed.

He said in Monday’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 on Wednesday 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 depended 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 would bring them out.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and AAP have been demanding CAG audit of finances of the distribution companies, 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 the companies, 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 the 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 distcoms and effected a series of tariff hikes.