Andhra govt blames former CM Chandrababu Naidu for power sector's losses

N Chandrababu Naidu (former chief minister) is being held responsible for the arrears the state has to pay
The Andhra Pradesh government has blamed the previous regime for the loss-making status of the power sector in the state. The Minister of State for Power, Forests and Science, Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, has said the state has to pay arrears not only to non-conventional fuel companies, but also to other power companies. 

“More than Rs 18,000 crore of arrears have to be paid for the last 16-18 months. N Chandrababu Naidu (former chief minister) is responsible for the current situation,” the minister said in an emailed statement to Business Standard. 

Reddy also said the state government has asked the Centre for subsidised loans to pay these arrears and the request is under consideration. “Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is implementing non-corrupt and transparent policies and there will be a resurgence of power sector with his policies,” he said.

Reacting to reports of global financiers threatening to take the state to international arbitration, he said it is a “false propaganda” and that no deal has been cancelled with any company and procurement of electricity has not been stopped from any company with which agreements are made. 

“We proceed in accordance with the law and payments are being made in line with the directions of the Hon’ble high court and we will implement the decisions of the Electricity Regulatory Commission as directed by the high court,” said Reddy.

Business Standard recently reported that the current government has taken a cue from a pending direction of the Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC), which wrote to the power department asking to review the tariff of renewable energy and reduce the purchase time duration to five years from 25.

Officials in the current government said they are abiding by the regulator's request, which was “ignored” by the predecessor. 

“Our decision to review and negotiate tariff is not suo moto. It is what the APERC also mandated. We set up a committee to look into the renewable PPAs (power purchase agreements) and final decision would have rest with the regulator,” said a senior state government official.

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