Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's war on power discoms has been expanded today by former CAG Vinod Rai to include not just power discoms, but also all Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects. Rai said all PPP projects in India must have their financial accounts audited by government auditor.
Vinod Rai, whose reports on various scams had raised the hackles of those in the UPA government, also asked why should the private power companies have any objections to a government audit.
"Power distribution companies are like a PPP project. Their accounts should be audited by a credible auditor and government's credible auditor is CAG," Vinod Rai said.
"All of them (PPP projects) need to be audited. There should also be an enabling clause that CAG can audit any PPP project," he said, and asked, "What is the hitch they (companies) have in the audit?," he asked.
Vinod Rai's comments came against the backdrop of the Delhi government coming out with an order on January one for a CAG audit of finances of three power distributing companies - BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. These companies have strongly opposed the CAG audit of their finances.
The CAG is in the process of starting audit of these companies since privatisation of power distribution in Delhi in 2002.
The Delhi High Court early this month had also given its nod to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to audit the accounts of private telecom companies.
It is pertinent to mention that Chairman of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), P D Sudhakar, had in July last year favoured audits of private power companies.
"There should be a CAG audit of the accounts of all the private power distribution companies. We have already sent a recommendation to the Delhi government for it," he had said then.
Some PPP projects in the country also involve those in the road and highways sector.
Vinod Rai, a former IAS officer, had often come under the criticism from the government over his various audit reports that brought out alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation, 2010 Commonwealth Games-related projects and Adarsh housing society scam among others.
The former CAG said he had three years ago first raised the matter of discoms' audit.
"We had given a request three years ago in 2011 for audit (of discoms). I had written then as lot of representations were coming in to Parliament, to Members of Parliament