CAG report indicts Punjab Electricity Board on power reforms

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Chandigarh, Mar 12 (UNI) The non - compliance of the directions of Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) regarding power sector reforms resulted in losses on account of underbilling, higher interest on Government loans and other fiscal losses to the Board.

According to the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the year ended March 31, 2007 placed before the state legislature here today, the Board failed to achieve positive results consistently due to excessive employees cost, conduct energy audit and claim inentives from the State Government.

Further, there was shortfall in achievement of targets in the Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme.

The report said that in spite of the decision (December 2004) of the Empowered Committee of the Sate Government, the Board had not been restructured by forming a generation company, a transmission company and three distribution companies as per the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003.

PSERC did not allow the amount of Rs 1296.28 crore to be passed on to the consumers while fixing the tariff for the years 2002-07 due to excessive transmission and distribution (T and D) losses, employees cost and diversion of funds.

The report stated that PSERC approved levy of volgate surcharge on all large supply consumers catered at 11 KV line and having specified contract demand. The Board failed to levy voltage surcharge on all such consumers resulting in under billing of Rs 266.24 crore, the report said.

The State Government did not restructure its loans which deprived the Board of saving of interest liability of Rs 229.65 crore during 2004-06.

Due to mismatch between funds released by the central government to the tune of Rs 178.74 crore and counterpart funds of Rs 148.78 crore arrangement by the Board, the central government did not release next installment for implementation of APDRP schemes even though there was provision of Rs 90.56 crore under investment component during 2005-06, the report said.

The report also noted that mobilisation of funds through arrangers by the Electricity Board instead of directly from the commercial banks resulted in avoidable payment of arranger's fee of Rs 1.62 crore.

UNI HS JS RL RK1629

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