Rejecting the contention of private power distributors, the Delhi government on Wednesday ordered an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of their finances, fulfilling yet another election promise of the Aam Aadmi Party.
"We have ordered an audit of the private power distribution companies. The CAG has said it will do the audit," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet which took the decision on the audit.
He said the Lieutenant Governor's order on the audit of the companies will go to the CAG on Thursday.
"From tomorrow, the audit will begin," he said.
The Delhi government had given time to the three companies -- BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd -- till Wednesday morning to give their views on why there should not be a CAG audit of their companies.
Asked what the companies have told the government, Kejriwal said they had given numerous other reasons but not one reason why the audit should not be done.
"Nobody has given any reason why there should not be an audit," he said, adding that the audit will start from the day the distribution of power was privatised.
He also rejected the view that since the matter was subjudice, a decision cannot be taken.
"The matter has been in the high court and proceedings are going on. No stay has been granted. Even now the proceedings can go on," said Kejriwal.
On complaints about the defective quality of power meters, the chief minister said the government would approach IIT Delhi and the Delhi College of Engineering for suggestions to improve the quality of meters.
Kejriwal said there had been a constant demand for auditing of the private power distribution companies and the previous government was "misleading" the people, saying the matter was in the court.
"What the previous government could not do in four years, we have done in four days," he said.
Asked about Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley's criticism -- that his government was taking populist measures with a short term objective -- Kejriwal said people can argue about the quantity of water to be supplied free but any civilised government has a duty to provide it.
When told that the Congress government in Haryana has slashed power tariffs and a Congress Member of Parliament in Maharastra was pleading for the reduction of tariff on the lines of the AAP government, he said, "I am very happy".
"We will teach them politics," he added with a chuckle.
Asked about the BJP's criticism -- that he was keeping mum on the 'corruption' of the previous Congress government after coming to power -- he shot back, "Let (BJP leader) Harsh Vardhan send the details. We will immediately take action."
On Tuesday, Kejriwal had announced 50 per cent subsidy to those consumers whose monthly consumption does not cross 400 units.