Punjab govt to bring white paper on PPA's signed during Akali regime: Amarinder

Chandigarh, Jan 16 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said his government will bring out a White Paper in the state assembly's Monsoon Session to expose the 'fraud committed' by the Akalis in Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with private players.

He was speaking after the governor's address on the first day of the two-day special session of the assembly.

'The White Paper, to be brought out in the Monsoon Session of the state assembly, will reveal all the documents signed by the previous SAD-BJP government in the state as well as the power plants set up by them which had caused an undue burden on the state,' he told reporters.

'The Akalis are slippery characters,' Singh said, adding that after messing with the state's economy through various destructive measures, including the PPAs, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was trying to use the issue against his government to promote vested political interests.

The main opposition party, AAP, on Wednesday had sought adoption of a resolution in the assembly session, seeking scrapping of the power purchase agreements signed by the previous SAD-BJP regime.

The SAD had on Wednesday met Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore, urging him to direct the Congress-led government to recommend a CBI probe into alleged Rs 4,100 crore 'scam'.

Akalis had accused the Congress-led government of not pursuing the case against release of coal washing charges to private plants in the Supreme Court and asserted that it was during their regime, the state power regulator Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Corporation (PSERC) and Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) had ruled in favour of state-owned power utility.

Through coal washing process, impurities like ash, soil, rock are removed from coal.

Notably, power rates in Punjab increased by 36 paise a unit from January 1 for domestic consumers due to the coal washing charges.  Meanwhile, the chief minister asserted that his government was committed to protecting the interests of Punjab and its people, and it would ensure that nothing detrimental to them is pursued.

Terming the opposition's walkout during the governor's address as 'extremely unfortunate', the chief minister lamented that such behaviour in the House had become a way of life.

He said the walkout was expected but attacked the AAP and the SAD over their decision to disturb and interrupt the governor's address while he was talking on the vital religious subject of the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji. PTI VSD SUN AAR