Gangtok: As discussions were held on the floor of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly with regard to the Power department’s State Bank of India (SBI) account, Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay responds to why a bank account for the concerned department was necessitated.
“Power department had opened a separate account in the SBI for power trading, a decision which was approved by the State government in November 2003. That time, we were not in power, Chamling was the Chief Minister then,” Singh told the house on Saturday.
His response comes after former CM Pawan Chamling, recently questioned the treasury bench saying, “The government doesn’t even know where the revenue from power is going.”
After Chamling raised the query, Singh, in his valedictory remark during the budget session answered as to “why funds of the Power department are deposited in the bank account without the government’s knowledge.”
He contended that Chamling raised the issue only to spread misinformation.
On the reason for having an SBI account for the Power Department, Golay explained, “Delay cannot be afforded in purchasing power, an essential commodity that needs to be purchased within the given deadline or power supply is shut down along with penalties imposed. The government process to take approval is slow and thus, the bank account of the Power department serves to purchase power immediately.”
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The Chief Minister said that there is no monopoly of the Power department with regard to power trading as it is directly monitored by the Centre and the Eastern Region Power Corporation. “There is full transparency,” he added.
Golay then said that the past government purchased power from NTPC at high rates creating a payment due of Rs 250 crore. “After our government came, we paid the outstanding bill and stopped purchasing power at high rates,” shared the CM.
Also Read | Sikkim: What’s the ‘diamond mine’ Golay & Chamling are debating?
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