Congress today alleged the Maharashtra Energy Department has caused a “loss” of Rs 550 crore to the exchequer by not charging duty for “open access” use of electricity by industries.
“There has been a revenue loss of Rs 550 crore to the state exchequer because of mismanagement and probable intention of giving undue and illegal benefits to select industries starting October 2014,” Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said.
He said 1,398 industrial units had applied for a licence to obtain open access permission of electricity. Under the ‘open access’ system, industries can purchase power from any generator using the state-run MSEB’s transmission line.
“These industries consumed 6,618 million units from October 2014 onwards after getting permission. But, the government has not charged duty on this consumption although there is a provision for the same in the Mumbai Electricity Duty Act, 1958,” he said.
MSEB kept reminding the Energy Department about the duty issue, but their pleas were ignored, Sawant claimed.
The Congress leader said he has written a letter to Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, seeking action against those responsible for the alleged irregularities.
“They have increased charges on fuel citing drought. Here, they are favouring industrialists at the cost of the common man.”
Meanwhile, Bawankule said he will hold a meeting with Energy Secretary and Managing Director of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (Mahavitaran) on Wednesday and reply to the allegations after getting a clarification from them.