Scrap power purchase pacts, Sidhu asks Punjab CM

Chandigarh:- Time and again rapping his party’s government in Punjab on the knuckles for its failure to provide free power up to 300 units to the domestic consumers, state Congress President Navjot Sidhu on Monday demanded to extend the one-day Assembly session to terminate the power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed with private companies.

“Punjab government must immediately issue directions to PSERC (Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission) in public interest to revise tariff being paid to private power plants making the faulty PPAs null and void. Further calling a five-seven day Vidhan Sabha Session to bring a new legislation for termination of faulty PPAs,” Sidhu tweeted.

“This will help Punjab government give 300 units of free power to all domestic consumers, including general category, decrease domestic tariff to Rs 3 per unit and Rs 5 per unit for industry, along with redressal of all outstanding bills, waiving-off the unjustifiable and exorbitant bills,” he added.

The government has decided to call a special session of the Vidhan Sabha for one day on September 3 to commemorate the historic 400th Prakash Purb of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

In his earlier tweets, Sidhu had blamed the PPAs that the previous government had signed with three private thermal power plants and said till 2020 Punjab had paid Rs 5,400 crore due to faulty clauses in these agreements. It is expected to pay Rs 65,000 crore of people’s money just as fixed charges.

Favouring the need to set aside the PPAs, Sidhu had said the state can purchase power from the national grid at much cheaper rates. “But these Badal-signed PPAs are acting against Punjab’s public interest. Punjab may not be able to re-negotiate these PPAs due to them having legal protection from honourable courts, but there is a way forward,” he had said.