The TDP released a Black Paper on the Power Sector in what is seen as a ploy to divert the attention of the people of the State from the black days of their 9 years rule, when the people were fleeced at regular intervals in the name of power tariff increases.
It is surprising that out of all, the TDP chose to issue a black paper on power. Mr Chandrababu’s firm belief is that people of the state have forgotten his misdeeds and mismanagement of this important sector.
The effort of the Black Paper clearly is to target Late Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and not the present Congress Government, which is surviving on TDP’s direct support. Instead of making sweeping statements about the costs of power projects going up during Dr Y S R’s regime, the Black Paper would have done well had it mentioned specific projects where the costs had gone up.
The Black Paper would have had some credibility had they talked about unprecedented corruption and inefficiency during the 10 years TDP rule, which has contributed in no small measure for the present power crisis.
1) The three issues that are foremost in the minds of the people of the state are:
a) Why is the state facing such unprecedented power shortages?
b) why is the power tariff being increased at such frequent intervals and so heftily, particularly when the state is doing very well in terms of resources? and
c) How is it that YSR Government managed their five year’s rule without increasing power tariff to any class of consumers even while supplying free power for 7 hours to farm sector?
2) Going by the Black Paper of TDP, it looks like Mr Chandrababu Naidu does not understand that the present problem in the state is nothing to do with non-availability of power capacities.
There is enough power capacity in the state. The problem is that enough coal and gas are not available. Even if we have another 5000 MW of capacity, what will we do with it when there is no fuel to power it?
3) It is the policy and governance paralysis of the Central and State Governments that is responsible for the present power crisis.
4) The next question is why is the State Government increasing power tariff at regular intervals and so heftily?
5) Why is Mr. Chandrababu Naidu not questioning the State Government in his Black Paper about steep and frequent power tariff increases, making the life of the common man most miserable, despite massive mopping up of financial resources of the State both in the form of revenues and borrowings in the last four years?
6) Does not Mr. Naidu know that the state revenues have increased from Rs 62,000 crores in 2008-09 to Rs 1.09 lakh crores in 2011-12 and are projected to reach Rs 1.27 lakh crores in 2013-14 according to the recent budget?
7) Why did Mr. Naidu not ask the Government in his so called Black Paper that despite revenues increasing by more than Rs 50,000 crores per annum in just four years period, why the power tariff is being increased so frequently?
8) Does not Mr. Naidu know that outside the budget, the municipal taxes, water charges and RTC charges have all been raised substantially in the last three years imposing huge burden on the people of the state?
9) Is Mr. Naidu not aware of the fact that the State Government’s borrowings have gone up from Rs 93 thousand crores in 2008-09 to Rs 1.55 lakh crores by 2012-13, which is an increase of Rs 62,000 crores in just 4 years? Is not the State Government going to additionally borrow Rs 25,000 cr during 2013-14?
10)Why did Mr Naidu not ask the State Government in his Black Paper as to what the Government is doing with all this money gathered both as part of and outside the budget?
11) Why did Mr Naidu not ask in his Black Paper as to why the Government is increasing the power tariff at such regular intervals and so steeply despite phenomenal increase in their resources?
12) Instead of asking these specific questions, why is Mr Naidu beating around the bush?
13) It is clear that he does not want to offend the present Congress Government both in the State and Centre.
14) Nobody is able to fathom as to why the Central and State Governments have become so completely non-functional.
15) For fear of being hauled up by CAG, Media, Opposition and Courts, the Central Government stopped taking decisions on all important issues. How sad! Despite India’s huge endowments of coal, the country has been forced to depend on imported coal, which is pushing up the trade deficit.
The Coal production in the country has virtually stagnated in the last three years because of the Government’s lack of initiative to resolve certain very routine inter-ministerial differences on forest clearances; with the result many coal based projects in the country are in a problem. The coal ministry has allotted 200 coal blocks to private companies. The Forest and Environment ministry promptly stopped all those projects.
16) The imported coal is twice the cost of domestic coal even after taking into account higher calorific value of imported coal. Coal imports were 80 million tonnes during 2012.
The FM says they will go upto 185 million tonnes in the current and coming years. Where are the port facilities in the country to handle such huge additional imports? Is the Indian railways geared up for handling this additional load? What will be the cost of power generation?
17) It is the PM who has to call for a meeting of Ministries of power, coal, mines, railways and forest and environment and resolve these issues. Unfortunately, many of these projects are under CBI scrutiny with a threat of cancellation of allotments.
18) So, the government feels that the easiest thing is to import coal at whatever cost and pass it on to helpless consumers.
19) Same is the case with natural gas. The Natural gas production has been falling with each day passing. Except Reliance Industries, none of the other three companies that were given contracts in KG basin way back in 2002, has produced even one cubic meter of gas; still no action is taken against them.
There have been phenomenal delays in allotting fresh gas blocks for exploration. With the result, the country has to depend on imports which are 3 times more expensive than the present domestic tariff.
20) If we do not have coal and natural gas, how can we expect to improve the power situation in the country? Without power, how can we hope to grow?
21) Why is the State Government not able to get greater supply of gas for our projects as was done by late YSR?
22) The Black Paper issued by TDP conceals many more facts than what it reveals about its own performance during 1994-2004. That TDP Government completely messed up the power sector in the state during their 10 year period 1994-2004 is a well known fact.
There is no way they can cover it up. Why are they persisting with the policy of confusing people by publishing this Black Paper?
23) Is it not a fact that the then APSEB earned operating profit in each of the five financial years during 1989-1994?
24) Is it not a fact that in each of the ten years period of TDP rule i.e. from 1994-2004 the APSEB suffered huge operating losses, which cumulatively accounted for over Rs 20,000 cr in those ten years period?
25) Is it not a fact that it is because of this mismanagement of the power sector that the state revenues have gone haywire with huge accumulated Revenue Deficits of over Rs 22,000 cr during 1994-2004 as against a cumulative revenue surplus as on 31-3-1994 i.e. at the of 38 years after formation of the state?
26) Is it not a fact that because of this mismanagement of the power sector during the TDP regime, the Asset/Liability ratio of the State for 1994-2004 fell to 45:100 as against what was 101:100 as on 31-3-1994?
27) Is it not a fact that the Asset/Liability ratio of the state for 2004-09 has increased to 120:100 as on 31-3-2009?
28) Can anybody in his right senses say that a Government, during whose regime in each of the ten years APSEB suffered huge operating losses despite increasing power tariff to all classes of consumers, including for agriculture, at regular intervals, has done better than the earlier Government, which earned operating profit in each and every year?
29) Is this what Mr Naidu has learnt in his post-graduation in economics?
30) Is it not a fact that the TDP signed a contract with World Bank that they would hike power tariff every year for all classes of consumers?
31) Is it not a fact that YSR Government did not increase power tariff atleast once during the five years period to any class of consumers despite agricultural power consumption going up from 800 cr units in 2003-04 to 1500 cr units per annum in 2008-09?
32) Is it not a fact that the industrial power tariff was 75 paise per unit less in 2009 than what it was in 2004?
33)Is it also not a fact that it is not only the power tariff that was not increased even once during 2004-09 but also the VAT rate, RTC charges, Water charges and Municipal taxes were not raised even once during 2004-09?
34) Is it not because of better power supply at highly reduced rates that the overall economic growth that the state achieved during 2004-09 was as high as 9.07% as against the annual growth rate of 5.7% during the earlier TDP regime?
35) Is it not because of various favourable initiatives taken by YSR Government, particularly in power sector, that the manufacturing sector in the state recorded a growth rate of 13% per annum in real terms during 2004-09 against a meagre 8% growth rate during the TDP regime?
36) Is it not for the same reason that the agriculture sector recorded an annual growth rate of 6.87% during 2004-09 as against 3.25% growth rate during the earlier TDP regime?
37) It is surprising that in the so called Black Paper, the TDP is finding fault for buying power from private sector. What a joke? Is it not a fact that Mr Naidu never lost an opportunity to project himself as the real champion of Reforms and Privatization during his nine years term?
38) Who has dabbled with the private sector---was it Mr Naidu or Late YSR?
39) Who has gone to Davos every year in pursuit of private investments?
40) Can Mr Naidu say with confidence as to how much of the power capacity added in the state during his 9 years rule was from APGENCO?
41) Why is he trying to mislead that the present power crisis in the State is due to favouring the private sector during YSR regime when the fact remains that it was Mr Naidu who actually favoured the private sector for obvious reasons?
42) Which Government signed hurriedly those infamous 23 midnight MOUs with various private firms who were not even income tax payees and who did not even have on 17/18th Feb 1995 for an additional capacity of 10,000 MW with all sorts of people?
43) The whole nation was aghast at this most audacious act of signing MOUs in the midnight ignoring the advice of the then power Secretary Dr E A S Sarma? Dr Sarma felt humiliated and went away to Delhi, where he was made Union Power Secretary.
44) Even more shocking was the fact that APSEB’s Muddanur expansion project that was finalized in favour BHEL in 1994 was cancelled and allotted to a private firm as part of 23 mid night MOUs?
45) Why did the TDP Black Paper not write about this?
46) Is it not a fact that the TDP Government signed PPAs for Short Gestation Power projects with 6 private developers for 8 naphtha based power projects on 31-3-1997 at different fixed tariffs ranging from 97 paise per unit to 135 paise per unit?
47) Did that not become biggest scandal with Mr Muddukrishnama Naidu along with other political parties making a big issue out of this?
48)Does not the credit for forcing the TDP Government to fix a uniform fixed tariff of 97 paise for all the projects go to late Dr Y S R?
49) ICICI evaluated all the bids for the short gestation power projects and awarded marks for each of the promoters on the basis of their past performance, financial strength and experience and the TDP Government allotted these projects on this basis after taking into cabinet.
50) What happened latter is a completely different thing. All the promoters were changed. The locations were changed. All this happened without going back to Cabinet for very obvious reasons.
The TDP Member Mr M V V S Murthy suddenly descends from somewhere and is allotted one of the short gestation power projects without following any rules and regulations.
51) Was it not suicidal for the state to promote around 2000 MW power projects on naphtha basis?
52) Is it not a fact that on severe pressure from the entire opposition, the TDP Government agreed to finally change the fuel?
53) The opposition clearly said that there was no gas availability in KG basin and therefore they advised the Government to change the fuel from naphtha to coal.
54) It was not just the opposition; even experts have cautioned the TDP Government against going for gas based projects. Why did the TDP Government go ahead with gas as fuel despite the GAIL not coming forward to accept any penalty for non-supply of gas?
55) Is it not because of this goof-up that the state Government is unable to bring pressure on Government of India for compensation for non-supply of gas? Is this not the single biggest reason for the present power crisis in the state?
56) Is it not a fact that the TDP Government, in a most brazen manner, gave away the highly profitable inter-state hydro project on Balimela to the TDP Politburo Member Sri M V V S Murthy?
57) It was Mr Chandrababu who allowed Rs 5 crores per MW to private projects like GVK and Spectrum while the Public Sector APGPCL implemented the gas based power project at just Rs 2.7 cr per MW in 1997.
58) Surprisingly, the TDP feels that it was the late YSR and the Congress party that have dabbled with private sector.
59) Having done all these favours to private firms, Mr Naidu talks as if he is against privatization and corruption of others? What is the credibility of his Black Paper? Is Mr Naidu ready to face CBI enquiry into all the above misdeeds?
60) In any case, the TDP Black Paper, which is full of half truths and lies does not serve any purpose.