New Delhi: In yet another attack on the Narendra Modi government for allegedly patronising crony capitalism, the Congress on Wednesday charged the government with violating the order of the Supreme court to favor selected business houses, thus turning a blind eye to the interests of the people of the country.
Cong alleges Govt. violating SC order to favour some industrialists
Addressing a press conference here, AICC spokespersons Jairam Ramesh and Shaktisinh Gohil alleged that the government was trying to benefit the companies to the tune of Rs 88,000 crores, the burden of which would have to be borne by the electricity consumers of the states.
Mr Gohil and Mr Ramesh said that during the tenure of Mr. Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2007, Gujarat Energy Development Corporation had signed four agreements for power purchase, including two agreements with Adani group companies for 2000 MW electricity and a contract with Tata for 18000 MW and one contract with Essar for 1000 MW of electricity.Under these agreements, electricity tariff was fixed at a rate between Rs. 2.40 to Rs. 2.80 per unit. However, five years later in 2012, these companies made an application to the Regulatory Authority that they can not supply electricity at this rate.
The matter was debated in the authority from 2012 to 2017 and finally this matter reached the Supreme Court.On April 11 last year, the Supreme Court said in its judgment that the demand of these companies was not appropriate because the rate of electricity should be same which was fixed in the agreement.
After the decision, the Gujarat government issued a notification on July 3, on the recommendation of the Central Government, which had said that a committee should be constituted to give suggestions for relief to these three companies. Mr Ramesh said the Gujarat government's step to constitute a committee to review the demands of raising the electricity supply price made by the private players was a violation of the Supreme court order.
''The apex court has already given its decision in this regard wherein it clearly said that the price of the electricity will be charged as per the Power Purchase Agreement. If the committee says that these companies should get relief then the burden of relief will be on the consumers and banks of different states. When the Supreme Court has taken a decision, then why has the government ignored it and set up the committee? It is a contempt of the court. The Centre and the Gujarat Government are to blamed for this,'' Mr Ramesh said.
According to the Congress, in February 2007 Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam had signed four PPAs, wherein the price for electricity was decided upon Rs 2.40 to Rs 2.80, and the power production was to be done in the state of Gujarat and then supplied to Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana.
However, after five years, in 2012 the companies approached the regulatory authorities, seeking a raise in price for which they filed an application, the Congress leaders said.
During 2012 and 2017 the matter was discussed at state and Central government levels finally reaching the Supreme Court, wherein the apex court said that the electricity should be supplied at the prices according to the PPA.
The Congress made this revelation at the time when party leaders have been issued legal notices over the revelations made by them on Rafale deal wherein they have been asked to answer regarding the allegations made by them on the companies who are part of the Rafael deal.Making thjs revelation, Mr. Ramesh and Mr. Gohil said that whatever that has been said by the Congress about the Rafale scam has been stated as a responsible political party on the basis of the facts present in public domain.
They alleged that government was trying to frighten them through such means. ''Congress President Rahul Gandhi has given us the message of 'daro mat' (do not be afraid). The party will continue its fight against corruption and will not be scared from even going to jail,'' they said.