New Delhi: The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), which has been directed to conduct a special audit of power subsidy provided between 2016 and 2022, will ask the government for terms of reference and the legal position of the exercise, official sources said on Tuesday. The DERC has received a communication from the government but there is no clarity on the objectives of the audit which need to be specified for a complete report, a source said.
"There is some litigation involving an audit of discoms which is still pending in the Supreme Court. It also needs to be checked that the special audit does not violate any instructions of the court," he said. The special audit of subsidies through CAG-empanelled auditors, as directed by the government, will begin when there is clarity on these important points, the sources said.
The DERC is likely to communicate with the government for detailed terms of reference of the audit exercise and seek clarity on the legal position, they added. Last week, an order was issued by the Power Department of the Delhi government for audit, through the DERC, of a subsidy amount of Rs 13,500 crore paid to the discoms between the financial year 2016-17 and 2021-22.
Delhi Power Minister Atishi had said that the audit of power companies was taken up following the instructions of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, after a file on the matter was approved by Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena. The file was sent to him on March 27.
The Kejriwal government was confident that the special audit would reveal if there were any irregularities and help improve distribution of electricity subsidies in Delhi, she had said. "The objective of this special audit is to identify any irregularities in the distribution of electricity subsidies and ensure that residents of Delhi receive the benefits of the subsidy in a transparent and fair manner," the minister had said.
A tussle had been already brewing between the AAP's dispensation and the LG office, with the former accusing the latter of "conspiring" with the BJP to stop power subsidies being provided in Delhi. Saxena, in a letter to the chief minister recently, objected to allegations levelled against him by the AAP dispensation that he wanted to stop the government's power subsidy, and threatened legal action if adequate proof was not produced.
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