AAP-LG Tussle Escalates Over Subsidies To DISCOM

New Delhi: A face-off between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led-Delhi government and the office of the Lieutenant governor escalated over alleged subsidies to DISCOMS.

On Saturday, an LG office source alleged that the AAP government and its functionaries are making false, inaccurate, and misleading claims after being exposed for giving excessive financial favours to private DISCOMs in the name of the poor.

The row over power subsidies erupted on March 10, when LG asked chief secretary Naresh Kumar to instruct the power department to present the council of ministers with the statutory advice of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC)– which recommended that subsidies should only be continued for consumers with up to 5KV sanctioned load.

The source added that the Chief Secretary then submitted reports to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi LG Vinai Kumar Saxena that the Power Department is defying the law by paying “subsidies to the DISCOMS,” as advised by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).

“Now that their (AAP) scheme of assisting the DISCOMS to receive bribes is exposed, they are trying to somehow redeem themselves in the eyes of the people. If the DERC direction is followed, it will save the government Rs 300 Crore”, the sources added.

The source further asserted that the then-Power Minister unilaterally chose not to abide by the DERC ruling and kept paying the additional Rs 300 Crore to DISCOMS despite repeated requests from the LG for a subsidy to be given to the needy and deserving rather than to private power firms.

“The then power minister was not authorised to take this decision- Cabinet being the appropriate authority to do so. LG in his note has asked CS to bring this violation to the notice of CM and get the Cabinet to decide on the issue,” the source added.

The source in the LG office took a jibe at Power Minister Atishi and said that instead of making uninformed and false statements against LG, she can ask the CM for a copy of the report.

This came after Power Minister Atishi on Friday raised the issue related to power subsidy in Delhi at the Vidhan Sabha claiming that the Chief Secretary and senior officials of the Power Department in “connivance” with the LG, are trying to stop free electricity from being provided to the people of Delhi.

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