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Navjot Singh Sidhu justifies 2-year-old decision: ‘Punjab power minister doesn’t have much power’

The former Cabinet minister, who is currently embroiled in a feud with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, added that he spent two years preparing the Punjab Model.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
July 8, 2021 5:04:19 am
Congress denies any meet, waiting Sidhu may get time with Rahul todayNavjot Singh Sidhu

CONGRESS LEADER Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday unleashed another series of tweets — this time claiming that the power minister cannot do much as most of the authority rests with the chief minister.

The former Cabinet minister, who is currently embroiled in a feud with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, added that he spent two years preparing the Punjab Model.

“Now, the big question — Can Minister for Power, New & Renewable Energy Punjab do any of this? Not even 1%. All decision-making powers are with PSERC directly reporting to CM. Thus, I invested my time in Punjab Model to chart the path to return people’s power back to the people,” he tweeted.

Hitting out at Badals and the Delhi Model alike, Sidhu wrote: “Politics without work on policy is merely negative campaigning and politicians without a pro-people agenda are here just for business!! Thus, politics without development has no meaning to me…Today, I emphasize again that we need a Punjab Model for the development of Punjab.”

“Won’t blame Badals for having no vision because I know they don’t! Today solar energy is Rs 1.99 per unit, with other benefits i.e renewable, available onsite (solar tube-well) etc. But Badal-signed faulty PPAs have tied Punjab to thermal power paying much higher for decades,” he continued.

“No Delhi Model! Delhi does not generate its own power and distribution is in hands of Reliance & TATA. Whereas, Punjab generates 25% of its own power and distributes through state-owned Corp, providing employment to thousands. Delhi Model means bigger private players than Badals.”

He said that “Punjab gives 10% of its budget (Rs 10,668 crore) power subsidy but Delhi gives 4% of its budget (Rs 3,080 crore). Apart from agriculture, Punjab gives 15 Lakh families (SC, BC & BPL) 200 units completely free, but Delhi charges 50% <400 & complete bill for all above 400 units.”

“Delhi does not provide free power to farmers and domestic subsidy is given by heavily burdening industry and commercial sector. Punjab Model means cancelling faulty PPAs, producing and purchasing cheap/sustainable power, decrease transmission costs to give subsidised power for all,” he said in another tweet.

Last week, Sidhu had listed a host of reasons, which he said were causing Punjab’s power woes. “Punjab’s over-dependence on 3 private thermal plants at Rs 5-8 per unit makes Punjab pay more than other states,” he had tweeted.

He added, “Badal government had signed PPAs with 3 private thermal power plants in Punjab. Till 2020, Punjab has already paid Rs 5,400 crore due to faulty clauses in these agreements and is expected to pay Rs 65,000 crore of Punjab people’s money just as fixed charges.” Urging the government to bring in legislation to declare the agreements null and void, the senior Congress leader had said, “Punjab Vidhan Sabha can bring in new legislation with retrospective effect to cap power purchase costs to prices available on the National Power Exchange at any given time.”

He had also blamed the state government for giving “unreasonable and exuberant profits to private thermal plants”.

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