Chandigarh, July 2
Two days after meeting senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu advised Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh to act in right direction to bring down the cost of buying power from private thermal plants instead of going in for power cuts or regulating office timings.
In a series of tweets, he advised the CM to bring a new legislation in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha with retrospective effect to cap power purchase costs as per prices available on the National Power Exchange at any given time. By amending the law, these agreements will become null and void, he said.
“Punjab is buying power at an average cost of Rs 4.54 per unit even as the national average is Rs 3.85 per unit & Chandigarh is paying Rs. 3.44 per unit. Punjab’s over-dependence on three private thermal plants at Rs 5-8 per unit makes Punjab pay more than other states. The power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the three plants were signed by the previous SAD-BJP government. Till 2020, Punjab has already paid Rs 5,400 crore due to faulty clauses in these agreements and is expected to pay Rs 65,000 crore just as fixed charges,” Sidhu claimed.
He further said Punjab can purchase power from national grid at much cheaper rates. “Punjab’s revenue per unit of consumption is one of the lowest in India due to gross mismanagement of the complete power purchase and supply system. PSPCL pays Rs 0.18 per unit extra on every unit supplied, even after receiving over Rs 9,000 crore in subsidy from the state,” said Sidhu.