CAG report finds lapses in power sector PSUs in Karnataka

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India report, tabled in the Assembly on Wednesday, has found many lapses in the functioning of power sector PSUs in Karnataka. According to it, six PSUs incurred a loss of ₹2,928.68 crore in the year ending 2019.

The major PSUs that saw losses were Raichur Power Corporation Ltd. (₹1,251.3 crore), Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (₹992.06 crore), Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation Ltd. (₹209.35 crore), and Gulbarga Electric Supply Company Ltd. (₹472.63 crore). Five PSUs earned a profit, with the major contributors being Hubli Electricity Supply Company Ltd. (₹690 crore) and Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. (₹212.14 crore).

Investment in power sector PSUs rose by 52.75%, from ₹9,495.8 crore in 2014-15 to ₹14,504.76 crore in 2018-19.

On Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation, the report said the delay in approaching authorities such as the Railways and Forest Department caused delays in projects. For instance, the laying of a 110-kV single-circuit line from Belagavi to Ghataprabha sub-station was delayed more than 10 years because of the delay in getting clearance from the Forest Department.

ESCOMs failed to carry out energy audits for all Distribution Transformer Centres (DTCs). It was done only for 60% of the metered DTCs in BESCOM and HESCOM and 43% in MESCOM. ESCOMs also incurred a huge capital expenditure of ₹449.81 crore and interest expense of ₹133.63 crore on the loans borrowed for DTC metering as on March 2019.

There were 114 PSUs in the State as of March 2019. The total investment in these PSUs was ₹1,32,841.77 crore.

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