Refuting the claims of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that the Centre was giving power to the state at Rs 2.70 per unit, Andhra Pradesh principal advisor Ajeya Kallam said that the state was actually buying power from the public sector units at a high rate of Rs 5.5 lakh per megawatt.
Speaking to the media on Saturday, Ajay said the ruling YSRCP government has not changed the tariff of Rs 7.65 per unit set for industries by the previous TDP government.
"The NTPC was selling power to the state at the rate of Rs 9.84 per unit and they were charging Rs 5 lakh per megawatt to transmit power. The AP government is forced to pay transmission charges even if it was taking power from the neighbouring states. As such the state is forced to bear an additional burden of Rs 1700 crore," he said.
Ajaye added that state was paying Rs 1700 crore to the Centre every year towards transmission charges and the state has never gone against the agreements reached with the Centre.
"Andhra Pradesh has not been allocated coal mines so far after the bifurcation of the state and as a result, the AP government is forced to bear Rs 2,500 crore additionally year," Ajay stated.
The principal advisor said that the electricity charges in the state increased only due to the agreements reached by the previous TDP government with the Centre.
*AP government is bearing an additional burden only because of the PPAs and the burden of debt on the state has also increased due to the corrupt practices and the wrong pacts reached by the earlier TDP government. The interest on the debt is also having an impact on the electricity charges," he alleged.
"The previous TDP government has left behind a debt of Rs 40,000 crore to the present government as it had kept bills worth Rs 13,390 crores pending in the power sector. When compared to the previous government, the YSRC government has saved Rs 5,000 crore this year in the power sector," Ajay claimed.
"In 2014, the total debt to all the power units was Rs 24,800 crore and now it has increased to Rs 70,000 crore. The YSRCP government is taking all steps to eliminate corruption by implementing reverse tendering and strengthening the governance from the village level and thereby saving a lot," he exlained.
Apart from power issues, Ajay noted that the government is giving over 80% reservation to the SC, ST, BC and minorities in the provision of employment and has also enacted a law giving preference to them in nominated posts.