New Delhi: Refuting allegations of her favouring power companies and tricking the government, Principal Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin has written to Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung clarifying her stand over the charges levelled against her by the AAP government.
"The need regarding the issuance of a comfort letter for the purpose of facilitating a loan from the power finance corporation led consortium of institutions and banks to BRPS and BYPL, the two out of three discoms operating in Delhi, had arisen on account of Supreme Court order of February 19 this year, wherein an obligation had been placed on these discoms to repay their current dues to GNCTD and central power utilities.
Delhi Chief Secretary, KK Sharma (L), Shakuntala Gamlin (C), Principle secretary (Power) and other officers during the Delhi Government's Open Cabinet meeting at Connaught Place's Central Park in New Delhi on Monday. Pic/ PTI
"Non-payment of these dues... would have led to regulation by them, resulting in major loadshedding in the national capital," Gamlin says in her letter. Refuting the allegation that she favoured power companies and had tricked the government into signing documents (comfort letter) which would give Rs 11,000 crore to power firms, Gamlin said, "The comfort letter that has been requested foris definitely not in the nature of 'some kind of guarantee' which would have made GNCTD' liable to repay the loan if the companies defaulted at any time in the future.
"In case of default of payment of dues towards loan extended by PFC to discoms, GNCTD will extend all support and help to PFC to recover its dues." In the three-page letter, Gamlin said that rather than lobbying for the companies, she had ensured that while AAP government was planning to provide power subsidy and had to make payment to the discoms, both BYPL and BRPL's subsidy amount was adjusted and was not paid to them.
In her letter she stated that "... she on her own accord inserted a provision whereby BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, the two discoms in question, would be required to adjust the subsidy amount due to them from GNCTD against dues owed by them to state power PSUs, and in turn GNCTD would pay these dues back to the state power PSUs".
The letter states that due to this clause inserted by her, Delhi government was not required to pay the discoms the subsidy cost, which was approximately Rs 1,000 crore, till the dues worth Rs 5,000 crore were paid by the discoms. The letter further states that "in case the minister had been convinced of what he is saying now at this late juncture, when things are already out in the open, he ought to have taken recourse to writing the same note on 14.05-2015 itself, when the proposal for the comfort letter was placed before him.
It is unfortunate that basic facts have been completely ignored and not taken cognisance of while preparing the said note". Gamlin's appointment as acting Chief Secretary had sparked a turf war between the LG and Chief Minister's office.