Odisha consumers’ body demands CBI probe into Reliance Infra’s share transfer

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 10

The Odisha Consumers’ Federation and several labour unions of the state have demanded a CBI probe into the transfer of share by the Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RIL) from the three distribution companies (discoms)—Wesco, Nesco and Southco— to its other companies. Besides, they have also demanded CAG audit of the accounts of these discoms.

pic: www.topnews.in
pic: www.topnews.in

“The role of the state government in the power distribution agreement with the RIL is suspicious”, president of the Federation Ramesh Chandra Satpathy told reporters here on Sunday.

Stating that the state government has utterly failed in the power sector reforms with a loss of about Rs 30,000 crore, Satpathy said the state government in the initial stage had estimated investment of Rs 1147 crore for which it had incurred loan from the World Bank and other international funding agencies.

Of the total loan incurred, Rs 840.58 crore taken from the World Bank was spent by 2004 of which Rs 306 crore was paid to the consultants.

“Besides, the state government has also spent over hundred crore towards power sector reforms in subsequent phases. The CAG should make an audit as to why the power sector reforms crumbled despite huge investment”, Satpathy said.

Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RIL), formerly known as Bombay Suburban Electric Supply (BSES) and Reliance Energy Ltd (RIL), had purchased 51 percent share capital (Rs 117 crore) from the Grid Corporation of Odisha (GRIDCO) during privatisation of power distribution in on December 31, 1999. The company later handed over the power distribution network to Wesco, Nesco and Southco.

“Surprisingly, RIL, without the prior permission of the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC), later transferred its share to its sister concerns,” Satpathy said.

Justifying his contention, he said as against 51 percent share holding, the share holding pattern of RIL in Wesco, Nesco and Southco by March 31, 2012 was .003%, .0002% and .003% respectively.

OERC, in its report, has stated that RIL has grossly violated the share holding agreement and illegally transferred its share capital.

“RIL has already sold its share capital to other companies. How could it sell its share without the approval of the OERC and how the four directors—three appointed by the GRIDCO and one appointed by the state government—in each discom had no knowledge about this? Since it is quite evident that the transfer of the share capital of RIL had been meticulously planned, there should be a CAG audit into this”, Satpathy demanded.

“RIL is the large private power sector in India. The company has divested its share which is seen as a strategy move. However, the impact of the strategy could either be positive or negative. Time will unfold and tell us”, said Bijaya Bhatt, a chartered accountant.

It may be mentioned that the RIL had made an agreement with the OERC for investment of Rs 900 crore in the infrastructure development during 2015-16. Leave alone investment, the company has not invested a single pie till date.

Though the company has managed to substantially bring down its Aggregate Transmission and Commercial (AT&C) loss in other states, it had failed to make any efforts on this in Odisha.

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1 Comment

    Such a loot canot happen without the support of State Govt officials. It is essential that thorough probe is conducted by an independent commission. CBI will not be able to do this job, since it is highly technical.

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