May stop funds to states for power scheme irregularities: Goyal
“I would request states which are not willing to join the common procurement pool to study its benefits, do an apple to apple comparison, compare the specifications (from central pool) to that being procured with your own specifications, compare the prices before you take any decision.
“Any irregularity found by us at the Centre could actually cause us to stop the funding to the states which indulge in any activity which are not in the best interest of the people of India,” Goyal told the ministers and secretaries of states at a 2-day conference here.
“Dinadayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana and the integrated power development scheme are largely funding the investments in this roll out of rural electrification and urban upgradation,” he said. “We will be watching and closely monitoring the technology and quality of products that are being bought by the states.
We will be monitoring the pricing at which these are being bought and transparency with which these are being purchased. “Any problems associated with the quality, technology, pricing or corruption that are brought to our notice will be promptly put up on the website (of the ministry),” Goyal said.
So, it is the choice that different states can make, he said, adding, “If you believe that you can do it better than central procurement, you are welcome. But the strength of this programme is the fact that we are all in it together and we are combining our procurement and...combined requirement helps us to do process more honesty and helps us to keep tab on quality control”.
During his half an hour long speech, the minister said that Maharashtra had earlier joined the operational efficiency part of UDAY scheme. “Since Maharashtra was not a loss-making discom (distribution company), we had permitted them to do that (take only operational efficiency). Two days back, when I was returning from Allahabad, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra (Devendra Fadanavis) suo moto told me that they are amending that by withdrawing the Cabinet note and join the financial benefit of the scheme,” Goyal said.
“When I asked him what made you change your mind, he said I had a Finance Secretary earlier who was continuously opposing it but I replaced him and the new fellow who came and studied the benefits came up to me and said we are foolish that we are not enjoying these benefits,” he added. Goa and Karnatka will sign agreement for UDAY scheme during the conference, the minister said. “But the day UP and Bihar join the scheme it will be a certificate for me that the scheme is for the benefit of people.”