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BSES power discoms counter Kejriwal charge

These gains were more than offset by the rise in power purchase cost, the companied have said

Sudheer Pal Singh  |  New Delhi 

The Reliance Infrastructure-owned power distribution companies in Delhi have countered the new city government’s allegation that they’d hidden the gains from reduction in technical and commercial (T&C) losses. These gains were more than offset by the rise in power purchase cost, the companied have said.

Aggregate T&C losses in the area served by BSES, the two discoms of R-Infra in Delhi, came down from 57 per cent in 2003-04 to 18 per cent in 2012-13, creating additional revenue of Rs 19,258 crore. During the period, bulk power purchase cost (PPC) rose 290 per cent to Rs 5.54 a unit, a net increase of Rs 27,404 crore. This left them with a deficit of Rs 8,146 crore, the companies have argued.

“It is unfortunate that instead of recognising the substantial contribution of BSES discoms in reducing T&C losses, supplying quality power round-the-clock, misleading and baseless allegations are being made and the real issues leading to increase in tariffs (rates) are not being addressed,” BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna had said in a letter dated Friday to Delhi’s power secretary.

The letter comes after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party government succeeding in getting the Comptroller and Auditor General of India to conduct an audit of discom accounts. The audit, yet to begin, could expose financial irregularities, according to Kejriwal.

AAP had recently claimed that power prices in the city should have come down as a result of the gains from reduction in losses that have shrunk from 57 per cent in July 2002, when the sector was privatized, to 15 per cent now. The government has also raised doubts over the revenue from power sales by BSES in the spot market.

The discoms said in the letter the total cost of power purchase last financial year stood at Rs 50,246 crore. Central power generation companies like NTPC accounted for Rs 31,239 crore while the rest was spent on power bought from state PSUs. The two companies sold power worth Rs 1,031 crore in the short-term market, bringing the net power purchase cost down marginally to Rs 49,215 crore.

First Published: Mon, January 13 2014. 00:33 IST