Congress leader and former chief minister Mukul Sangma on Tuesday slammed the NPP-led MDA government for its failure to take advantage of an alternative option to save the state from paying Rs 11 crore to the National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC).
“The lack of response to this available space of an alternative or option to sell this power which the MeECL would not draw, and save the state from paying Rs 11 crore…(However) they are paying Rs 11 crore because they don’t know how to save it,” Mukul said.
This came a day after a privilege motion tabled against the chief minister Conrad K Sangma for allegedly misleading the House with regards to the power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with NTPC in 2007 was defeated by voice vote.
“If the motion is defeated by the number game in the House so be it but what is the spirit? The spirit is we talk about the collective accountability of the cabinet as per provision of the Constitution of India,” he said.
“If they (govt) say they are helpless as they have to pay these capacity charges (or fixed charges), that means I have said they have not done their homework,” he added.
Mukul also reiterated his suggestion on the need for the government to take care of the MeECL from bleeding otherwise blood transfusion will be required.
The former chief minister said the present government has failed to find a solution to the issue as it has not read a letter issued by the Ministry of Power to various states including Meghalaya in May, 2016.
“This is most important part which the government of the day should study and resort to stop this unnecessary payment of fixed charges (to NTPC),” he said while adding “The letter (from the ministry) provide space from the various purview of the various notification by the regulatory commission under the provision of the Electricity Act, 2003.”
The letter read:- “Various communications have been received in this ministry by the states for surrendering their allocated power from central generating stations as on date 4,700 MW power has been surrendered by various states to be reallocated to other beneficiaries.
States have also been requested to give their consent to avail such power so that it can be reallocated. As on date, no such request for reallocation is pending with this ministry.”
Mukul said this means reallocation requests have already been considered by the ministry and accordingly this power cannot be reallocated to some other beneficiary hence the fixed charge liabilities continue to be with the original beneficiary. This is for the whole country not just Meghalaya as nobody can escape the purview of the Electricity Act, 2003.
“There cannot be a special law for Conrad K Sangma or for anybody,” he said.
The leader of opposition further stated that the letter further says that “states can consider to use the provision of tariff policy namely para 6 2 1 for such cases so that the states can get some relief from the fixed cost liabilities.”
He however lamented that had the present state government studied this letter from the ministry, the state would not be required to pay fixed charges of Rs 11 crore.
“They have not read, they have not spent time as their priorities are different but the state is bleeding as MeECL is part of the state,” he said.
“As per tariff policy) it provides both the generation company and the beneficiary bulk power purchaser can decide to sell the power through the power exchange and whatever benefit is accrued beyond the tariff is shared at the rate of 50:50 between the generation company and the beneficiary bulk power purchaser.
This is the provision, I have read about it but this has to be done on a real time basis before midnight it has to be indicated as to how much power will not be drawn and made available for sale under this particular tariff policy. Now have they done that, No,” he said.