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After free water Arvind Kejriwal orders audit of power companies in Delhi


After fulfilling his party’s promise of providing free supply of 700 litres of water everyday for Delhi households, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday initiated steps to reduce power tariff by ordering the audit of three power companies operating in the national capital.

According to reports, Chief Minister has given time till Wednesday morning to three major power companies on their CAG audit.

The ailing Chief Minister, who has been advised complete bed rest by the doctors, tweeted, “Going to meet the CAG, to discuss possibility of an audit of the three power companies.”

“I believe we have 48 hours in hand so doing whatever we can to help people in this period, “ the Chief Minister’s tweet said.

“A final decision in this regard will be taken after cabinet meeting scheduled this evening, “ Kejriwal told reporters adding, “I am going to meet the CAG in a shortwhile.”

After the AAP government delivered on its promise of supplying 700 litres of free water everyday for Delhi households, expectations were running high whether the ruling party would be able to deliver on its promise of reducing the power tariff by 50 percent in the national capital.

Kejriwal on Monday delivered on the AAP’s poll promise by announcing 20 kilo litres of free water a month to all metered households. The Congress questioned the move, saying Kejriwal should ensure that every citizen of Delhi gets 700 litres of free water per day.

The government’s decision, however, came with a rider that those consuming over this limit will have to pay as per tariff, enhanced by 10 percent, effective January 1.

The promise of 700 litres of free water to every Delhi household was made in the AAP poll manifesto.

Ever since Kejriwal formed AAP, he has been focusing his Delhi campaign on reducing power tariff and free water supply.

Experts say that reducing electricity tariffs by 50 percent can only be done only if subsidies are doled out.

“It is unlikely that the utilities can bring down the electricity tariffs by 50 percent without government providing them with cash subsidy,” Debashish Mishra, Senior Director, Deloitte India said.

However, he added that there may be scope for further loss reduction in distribution, demand side management measures and cost optimisation in O&M (Operation & Maintenance).

He said that broadly the tariff is determined by four factors – existing operational efficiencies, capital and cost structures, power purchase agreements, and regulatory (assured and authorised) assets in the sector.

Electricity tariffs were revised in the Capital in July this year. Delhiites pay a minimum of Rs 3.90 per unit tariff.

AAP has said that it would seek complete statehood for Delhi, special audit of all electricity companies, regularisation of unauthorised colonies, stopping donations in private schools and improving working conditions of contract labour and lowly paid employees.

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