Terming it as “a case of gross misuse of authority” and “conflict of interest”, AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Friday accused Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh of “concealing the fact that [one of] his (Rana’s) company and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) are [locked] in a litigation in Supreme Court.”
Addressing a press conference here, Khaira said he had been told by “top authorities of PSPCL that Rana Gurjeet Singh is using his official position and pressuring PSPCL to either withdraw the petition from the Supreme Court or accept the judgment of the Appellate Tribunal of Electricity passed in favour of his company.”
Khaira said Rana Sugars Ltd had set up a 12 MW capacity co-generation power plant in 2001 to supply 10.2 MW power to PSPCL for 20 years at a base rate of Rs 3.01 with an annual escalation clause of 5 per cent up to financial year 2004-05 and thereafter no escalation was permitted as per the agreement. Khaira said the plant was synchronized with the grid on March 1, 2002, and power purchase agreement was signed on May 4, 2005.
Alleging “violation” of the agreement, Khaira said minister’s company filed a petition in the Punjab State Regulatory Commission in 2010 to seek redetermination of tariff for supply of power to PSPCL. “The State Commission rejected the petition on June 24, 2013, and Rana Sugars Ltd approached the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity in Delhi to challenge the order. The Appellate Tribunal allowed the appeal on September 19, 2014, and remanded the matter back to Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission for reconsideration and to redetermine the tariff after duly considering the actual fuel cost of bio mass,” Khaira said.
He added, “The PSPCL filed an appeal in the Supreme Court under section 125 of the Electricity Act 2003, challenging the judgment of Appellate Tribunal of Electricity, Delhi.” Khaira said the next date of hearing in the case was September 8.
Alleging that minister was pressuring the PSPCL to withdraw the petition from the Supreme Court and accept the judgment of the Tribunal passed in favour of his company. “Is Rana Gurjit Singh that indispensable? It is a test of Amarinder Singh. I ask Amarinder Singh that if an iota of ethics or morality is left in him, he should sack Rana Gurjeet Singh from cabinet,” Khaira said, also mentioning the sand mining row and purchase of “deh shamlat” land in Seonk village involving Rana.
Rana refutes charges, calls Khaira a ‘failed and frustrated man’ “Sukhpal Khaira is a failed and frustrated man, too desperate to stay in limelight and in the process has gone delusional about me,” Rana said in a statement, refuting the charge that he was trying to influence the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to withdraw its appeal in the Supreme Court.
“I have challenged him in the past and I am challenging him now to bring evidence against me,” he said while advising Khaira “to stop burning in jealousy as it will prove to be self-destructive”. The minister said it was self-explanatory from Khaira’s statement that his family-owned company Rana Sugars had not committed any wrong and had only followed a legal course to get justice.