Ever since Punjab’s power regulator cleared a tariff hike by 36 paise per unit from January 1, the spotlight has returned to three Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) between the government and private plants. The SAD-BJP, during whose regime the PPAs had been signed, and AAP are targeting the Congress government, but for different reasons.
What are these PPAs?
These were signed with Rajpura Thermal Power Plant, Talwandi Sabo Power Project, and Goindwal Sahib Power Plant. Under the agreements, fixed charges are to be paid to these three plants even if the state does not require power. When the SAD-BJP government had signed these, it had come under attack from the then opposition Congress, which had promised that it would renegotiate the PPAs if voted to power.
Following the tariff hike, AAP has demanded scrapping of the PPAs because of the burden of payment it places on the state even when power is not purchased. The SAD-BJP, on the other hand, has been targeting the government for losing court cases over payment issues relating to the power sector.
SAD chief Sukhbir Badal has accused the government of a “fixed match” for losing the cases. Congress leaders, for their part, have been accusing SAD of a “fixed match” in signing agreements to “benefit the private companies”.