The Union Power Ministry has deducted Rs 714 crore from Jharkhand’s account with the Reserve Bank of India towards clearing the dues of power generation company Damodar Valley Corporation, said Finance Minister Dr Rameshwar Oraon on Thursday.
Ironically enough, the State Government, through a Cabinet decision on January 6, has already decided to exit the tripartite agreement signed with the RBI and Power Ministry, which enabled the Power Ministry to pay the dues of DVC from the RBI account of Jharkhand. And, the Power Ministry had issued a letter for payment of the second installment on January 6 itself.
Sources said that the State government had, a day before, has written to the Ministry of Power and RBI that Jharkhand has decided to come out of the tripartite agreement and thus the second installment
towards the dues should not be deducted from State’s account with the RBI.
The Union Ministry of Power had issued a letter to the RBI Governor asking him to deduct Rs 714 crore from the Jharkhand government's account under the tripartite agreement to recover DVC dues of Rs 2,114.18 crore and deposit it in the Central Government account. Under the terms of the agreement, the first installment was Rs 1,417.50 crore deducted in October 2020 last year. After this, a notice was given on December 20 for deduction of the second installment for non-payment of dues by the Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam (JBVNL).
Talking to The Pioneer, Finance Minister Dr Rameshwar Oraon said that the Centre is deliberately troubling the State, because it could not ensure a double engine government here. “It was a one sided agreement, from which we decided to part ways. Now, when they (BJP) have nothing to do they are spreading misinformation about crime and other fake issues,” he said.
On being asked if the government will knock the door of courts soon to resolve the issue, Dr Oraon said, “We will sit together and think over it, but we have to go to the court ultimately. Everyone knows that it was a one sided agreement. They will always do this. Let us decide from where we will buy electricity. They are deducting our funds, but who will pay our dues? Only Coal India has to pay us over Rs 80,000 crore. But, we get nothing from them,” he said.
Notably, Chief Minister Hemant Soren after the January 06 Cabinet decision had said that the Jharkhand Government decided to withdraw from the Tripartite Agreement as the agreement was one sided and lopsided.
The fund which was meant for development and uplift of tribals and marginalised sections of societies was deducted by the Centre.