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State to exit pact with RBI, Centre on auto pay of discom dues.


Date: 07-01-2021
Subject: State to exit pact with RBI, Centre on auto pay of discom dues
Ranchi: The Jharkhand  government on Wednesday decided to exit the tripartite agreement with the Union power ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)) to prevent another auto-deduction of the state’s outstanding dues to Centre-run discom companies.

The state cabinet, chaired by chief minister Hemant Soren, gave its approval to the state energy department’s proposal to exit the agreement in the interest of the people of the state. 

“The money is deducted from a consolidated fund where funds for the development of women, people of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe and the money which is received by the state as per provisions of the 15th finance commission is received. Since the deduction is affecting interests of the state’s people and their Constitutional rights, Jharkhand government has decided to exit the agreement,” state energy secretary Avinash Kumar said after the cabinet meeting. 

The state government was sore in October last year after the Centre  asked the RBI to invoke the agreement and auto deduct Rs 1,417.50 crore from Jharkhand’s account as the first instalment of dues worth Rs 5,608.32 crore owed by state-run discom Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (JBVNL) to Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC). 

The tripartite agreement, inked in April 2017, was aimed at providing a payment security mechanism to ensure that outstanding dues of PSU power companies are realised if state-run discoms fail to pay its dues on time. 

Hemant had expressed his disgust on the Centre’s move and termed it a conspiracy to impose financial penalties on Jharkhand to force the state to increase its borrowing from the market. “After going through the legal provisions, it was found that the agreement was lopsided and against Jharkhand’s interests,” Kumar said. 

Asked whether pulling out from the agreement will affect the power supply in the state, Kumar said, “There are other mechanisms through which we can purchase power if need arises.” 

In another decision, the 10-member ministerial council approved a revised regulation to hold Jharkhand Combined Civil Services Examinations. “Replacing the 1951 regulation framework which was amended multiple times through resolutions in the recent years, the new regulation aims to bring in transparency and weed out disputes over the examination process,” cabinet secretary Ajoy Kumar Singh said. 

The new regulations have been brought in as per the recommendations of a three-member committee headed by development commissioner K K Khandelwal. 

Singh said: “There will be one educational qualification and one age for candidates for all exams. For preliminary examinations, the number of candidates to be selected will be 15 times higher (in comparison to the vacancies). In case the number of candidates from the reserved category (SC/ST/OBC) falls short of the mark, the cut-off percentage can be lowered up to 8% subject to conditions.” 

For finals, the number of candidates to be selected for interview will be 2.5 times higher than the number of vacancies. “Aspirants from the reserved category, who qualify on merit, will have the provision of migrating between reserved and unreserved categories for selection of services of their choice,” Singh said. 

Source:-timesofindia.indiatimes.com 

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