New Delhi [India], July 4 (ANI): Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday said that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh-led government's decision to review "ill-conceived" Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) signed by the previous SAD-BJP government is "extremely delayed" and asserted that the government had over four years to focus on the issue.
In a statement, Bajwa pointed out that the Punjab government promised a white paper on the issue in March 2020 but no such information has been released by the state even after 16 months.
"The statement made by the Chief Minister of Punjab that the state government is reviewing the ill-conceived Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) signed by the previous SAD-BJP government is extremely delayed but absolute necessary. These PPA's have been an albatross hanging around Punjab's neck, bleeding the state exchequer dry," he stated.
"The government had over four years to focus on this issue. A suitable conclusion must be reached to ensure that the people of Punjab are no longer cheated by these agreements," he added.
On Saturday, Amarinder Singh said his government would soon announce its legal strategy to counter the PPA, signed by the former SAD-BJP government, which had put an 'atrociously unnecessary financial' burden on the state.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal hit out at Amarinder Singh after the former blamed the previous SAD government for the power crisis in the state, asking him who stopped the present government from scrapping agreements in the last few years.
"Re your new rant on SAD govt's power agreements, 4.5 yrs is a long time to scrap any agreement. Who stopped/stops you? Do anything but save Punjabis from long unbearable power cuts & bills. But it seems U want to be remembered for "BIJLEE MEHANGI, BIJLEE GULL," Badal tweeted.
Assembly elections in Punjab is due next year.
Bajwa also slammed the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) for not being able to provide uninterrupted electricity to farmers during paddy season over the years.
"How is it, that after the consistent demands of power in Punjab during paddy season that the PSPCL is still unable to plan and ensure the uninterrupted supply of power to the people?" he said in an official statement.
The Congress leader further stated that PSPCL should be held responsible for being "chronically unprepared."
"The PSPCL must be held accountable due to it being chronically unprepared for the supply of uninterrupted power. Heads must roll and the government must take stern action against erring officials," said Bajwa.
Earlier on Saturday, Aam Aadmi Party workers protested near Amarinder Singh's 'Siswan Farm House', in view of the power crisis in the state.
In his statement, the Congress leader also urged the state government to also ensure 300 units of free power to all households.
"The government should also ensure 300 units of free power to all households. It is well known that the State of Punjab provides over Rs 6,000 crores as power subsidies to the Agriculture sector and Rs 4,000 crores to other sectors," Bajwa said. (ANI)