Telangana to legally challenge Centre’s order on power dues

The Telangana government has decided to wage a legal battle against the Centre’s direction to pay Rs 6,757 crore power dues to Andhra Pradesh.

State Energy Minister G. Jagadish Reddy announced on Tuesday that the state government will challenge the Centre’s move in the court.

The Union Power Ministry on Monday directed the power distribution companies (discoms) of Telangana to pay the dues to the Andhra Pradesh Generation Corporation (APGenco) within 30 days.

Citing the provisions C(2) and (7) of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the ministry stated that there was no dispute regarding the amount to be paid for the power dues – the principal amount of Rs 3,441.78 crore and late payment surcharge of Rs 3,315.14 crore up to July 31, 2022 – to be paid in addition to the principal amount as per the applicable provisions.

Terming the Centre’s order as “absurd” and “politically motivated”, Jagadish Reddy said this was an act of vengeance against Telangana. He alleged that the Centre was conspiring to create a situation of power cuts in Telangana.

The energy minister claimed that the BJP-led government at the Centre was jealous of the rapid strides made by Telangana in the power sector.

He said the BJP also did not like Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s statement that with the available resources, free electricity can be supplied to farmers across the country. He alleged that the Centre was also targeting Telangana as KCR was exposing its wrong policies before the entire nation.

Jagadish Reddy said the Centre did not pay heed to Telangana’s stand that power dues to its discoms from Andhra Pradesh were to the tune of Rs 12,941 crore. “Without hearing Telangana’s argument, the Centre has acted unilaterally,” he said.

He alleged that BJP was jealous as its governments could not achieve what Telangana has achieved in the power sector.

He also claimed that the Centre had been creating problems for Telangana discoms for the last one year.

Meanwhile, Telangana Planning Commission Vice-Chairman B. Vinod Kumar said it was the Centre’s responsibility to resolve inter-state disputes. He argued that the issue does not come under the purview of the Ministry of Power as evident from Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.

Vinod Kumar said the Union Home Ministry should take the initiative to resolve the issue of power dues between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. He maintained that it was Andhra Pradesh which should pay the dues to Telangana.

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