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Chief secretary row: Arvind Kejriwal’s secy too gave letter of comfort

It has come to light that secretary to the chief minister, Rajendra Kumar, too wrote a letter of comfort for discoms in 2008.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published: May 19, 2015 2:00 am
Arvind Kejriwal,  AAP government, Chief secretary row, Arvind Kejriwal secretary, Delhi Chief secretary row, Delhi government, On the issue of corruption, Kejriwal said, “Soon after the ACB helpline was started, people got scared.

The ground on which the AAP government objected to Shakuntala Gamlin’s appointment as chief secretary was that she was asking for a letter of comfort for discoms to take loans. Power Minister Satyendra Jain alleged that Power Secretary Gamlin favoured discoms by proposing such a letter for them and should not be considered for Delhi’s top bureaucratic job.

But it has come to light that secretary to the chief minister, Rajendra Kumar, too wrote a letter of comfort for discoms in 2008. When the Lt-Governor notified Gamlin as chief secretary, principal secretary (services) Anindo Majumdar issued orders appointing Gamlin as officiating chief secretary. Kejriwal’s office took serious objection to it and replaced him with Kumar, currently secretary to the chief minister and power secretary and CMD, Delhi Transco Ltd in 2008.

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In 2008, Kumar gave letter of comfort for discoms, that was sought by power generating company NTPC, whereas Gamlin had asked for a letter for the purpose of a loan sought by state lender Power Finance Corporation.

The letter of comfort to NTPC was in lieu of payment of outstanding bills and accountability of payment lies with major stakeholders. In his letter dated March 17, 2008, Kumar stated, “In case any occasion arises to regulate the power supply to the distribution licensees due to default in payment by discoms, GNCTD would intervene in settling its dues from discoms to avoid disruption of power in the overall interest of consumers. This commitment of intervention is without any financial commitment.”

The letter of comfort is issued to NTPC so that the arrangements for signing of the supplementary power purchase agreements with the central generating stations and transmission utilities are completed and so that the people would not face disruption in power supply.
Several attempts to contact Kumar on Monday failed.

In his letter to the L-G, Kejriwal mentioned the power minister’s letter against Gamlin, where he wrote that he has “suspicions” about the actions of Gamlin as she has been “persistently pestering me to give comfort letter to Power Finance Corporation in favour of power companies”.

A government representative, when contacted, said, “AAP was not in power when Kumar issued the letter. If a wrong thing has happened in the past, should we let it happen in the present as well? We will not.”

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  1. A
    May 19, 2015 at 4:49 pm
    It is a indication that the more educated politician one is, the more uneducated one becomes in reasoning and abilities. This government is headed by a technocrat and guided by many able bankers is unable to decipher what a letter of comfort is. If it was a guarantee then why would a bank not call it a guarantee than a mere letter of comfort.
    1. A
      May 19, 2015 at 4:28 pm
      I think the article is making a very valid point. Media reports indicate that both Mr Parimal Rai and Mr Rajendra Kumar actually issued the same kind of comfort letter which Mr Kejriwal was accusing Ms Gamlin was pushing for. He went a step further to loudly proclaim it to the Auto drivers in the Burari. I think the point being made is one of contradiction depending on whom we are referring to. I found it curious to hear opinions being proferred by individuals who've been thrown out of AAP recently. The media is doing a great job of educating us. Its however very discouraging to see this play out given the CS chosen by Mr Kejriwal was issued a show cause notice. I gather from a panel discussion yesterday that by the time this plays out the acting CS Ms Gamllin would have only three days. However look at the damage AAP has done to her. It was also amazing to see the smirk and laughter of the AAP spokesperson on national TV. The statement that Mr Kejriwal made that hed be watching her closely sounded bizarre to say the least.
      1. D
        Damaru Prasad
        May 19, 2015 at 2:34 pm
        Delhi not only has a fraud, a conman as chief minister but also a megalomaniac. Hope he is booted out fast.
        1. H
          May 19, 2015 at 6:12 pm
          Giving financial commitment for loan repayment is very different from letter of comfort. Well the fact is quite clear, BJP wants to stop the progress of work started by AAP in Delhi. First they used media, when media circular was issued by the Delhi govt., they came up with LG, once this will be resolved they will come back with something else. BJP still hasn't learnt from Delhi elections, they are digging there graves much more deeper.
          1. K
            Krishna Iyer
            May 19, 2015 at 1:50 pm
            67/70 Arvind is leading a very stressful live and may be a visit to Banglore is due as one can see from his body language. Is politics really his cup of tea? Can he work and build consensuc? Poltics is a gentle art of building consensus and moving forward especially in a complex country like India.
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