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Arvind Kejriwal lies again, falsely claims Punjab Power Corporation was making losses before AAP govt, hides the truth behind free electricity

Kejriwal claimed PSPCL made profit despite free electricity. But the power corporation does not provide free electricity, the state govt pays for it, therefore, free electricity is actually guaranteed revenue for PSPCL.

On 29th May, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal credited the AAP government for making the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited profitable. Sharing a news report stating that PSPCL earned a profit of ₹900 crore in the last financial year (2023-24), the AAP supremo claimed that the company was running in loss during the previous governments, and it has turned profitable even after providing free electricity as per AAP govt’s power subsidy scheme.

Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi, “These are the results of the honest hard work of the AAP government. I congratulate the 3 crore people of Punjab and Bhagwant Mann ji for this great achievement.”

However, like everything else that out-on-bail CM Arvind Kejriwal claims, his claim of AAP turning PSPCL profitable is also a lie. While it is true that the company has earned a profit after suffering a loss in the previous year, the fact is that it was earning more profits before AAP came to power in Punjab. More importantly, that loss was also under AAP govt, after profits under the previous Congress govt.

The Tribune report that Kejriwal cited stated that the power corporation has earned profit because of improved coal supply from Pachhwara coal mine, and the company was able to sell power through the exchange.  

A look into the previous financial statements shows that after AAP’s Bhagwant Singh Mann-led government came to power in Punjab in March 2022, the profit and loss statement of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited showed a massive loss of ₹4,775.93 crore in the financial year 2022-23.

However, before AAP formed the government in the state, the company reported profit in the previous two years, under the Congress government. In 2020-21 the company reported a profit of ₹1446.10 crore, while in 2021-22, the profit of PSPCL was ₹1069.21 crore.

This means, that after AAP came to power, PSPCL went from ₹1,069.21 crore profit to ₹4,775.93 crore loss, a huge decline.

However, the company suffered losses in 2018-19 and 2020-21. This shows PSPCL’s profit and loss statement shows lots of variances over the years. But Kejriwal’s claim that it was loss-making earlier and AAP govt has made it profitable is completely false. The company made more profits before AAP came to power.

The other claim that Kejriwal made is that PSPCL made profits even after providing free electricity. This is a completely false and dishonest claim, because PSPCL is not providing free electricity. All subsidised power, including free power, is funded by respected governments, not the power companies. This means the Punjab government is paying the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited for the free electricity provided to consumers as per AAP’s election promise.

Last year, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann announced that his government cleared the entire electricity subsidy bill of ₹20,200 crore. “In 2022-23, which is the first year when the Punjab government paid the entire subsidy bill of ₹20,200 crore to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited. Not even a single penny was pending towards the PSPCL,” the CM had told the media in April 2023.

The CM also said that the subsidy amount of ₹20,200 crore comprised ₹9,063 crore for free electricity to the farm sector, ₹8,225 crore for domestic consumers, and ₹2,910 crore for subsidised power to industry.

Similarly, the Punjab government sanctioned ₹20,200 crore for the year 2022-23, out of which ₹18,276.74 crore has been released by the govt to PSPCL. For the year 2024-25, the state government has allocated ₹20,477 crore for power subsidy the budget. This amount includes ₹7,780 crore for domestic consumers, ₹9,330 core for farmers and ₹3,367 crore for industries.

Power companies often face trouble in collecting bills from power consumers. However, that problem is eliminated with the power subsidy, as the state governments pay the bill. Therefore, PSPCL has earned profit not despite of providing subsidies, it has earned profit partly because of free power because the state govt is directly making the payment to it.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Raju Das
Raju Das
Corporate Dropout, Freelance Translator

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