Show copy of MDA-NTPC power deal: Cong to Conrad

SHILLONG, March 10: The Opposition has asked Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma to provide a copy of the power purchase agreement that he said the former MDA government and the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) had signed in 2007.
“We want a copy of the agreement because it is a misleading statement made by the Chief Minister. He has created misconceptions amongst the people of the state about such an agreement,” Congress MLA from Rangsakona, Zenith M. Sangma said while participating in the debate on the Governor’s address during the ongoing budget session in the Assembly on Wednesday.
Stating that a blame game was apparent, he asked whether the Chief Minister was shrugging off responsibility.
“We would like to know what is there in the agreement signed in 2007. The misleading statement of the Chief Minister needs to be corrected,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Chief Minister informed the House that Meghalaya had along with the other north-eastern states signed the agreement when the NTPC was developing a thermal project in western Assam’s Bongaigaon in 2007.
He said there was no mention of the amount that was to be paid as fixed charges in the agreement.
“When the Bongaigaon project was commissioned in 2015, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission had fixed the rate and Meghalaya had refused to buy power from the NPTC since it was found to be higher than the market rate,” the Rangsakona MLA said.
He claimed that they fought against this and there was a lot of engagement with the Centre.
“We did not buy power from the NTPC and did not pay even a penny. No electricity was bought from Bongaigaon,” he asserted.
According to the MLA, the problem started in 2019 when a new procedure was initiated in the purchase of power. “What was the government doing then? Was it sleeping? We could have fought in court. There is a big mess in the MeECL,” he said.
He claimed the Congress had opposed the MeECL’s proposal of taking the Atma Nirbhar loan of Rs 1,345 crore. ( “The MeECL already has huge liabilities and after taking the loan, it would not be in a position to repay,” he said.
“If the repayment amount is more than the revenue generated, it will not be possible for the MeECL to repay the loan. The interest amount of the Atma Nirbhar loan will touch Rs 10.5 crore per month and the corporation will have to pay more than Rs. 100 crore as the interest component. After three years, the MeECL will have to pay the principal amount along with the interest which will be about Rs 30-40 crore. This is a huge burden and the MeECL will bleed financially,” the Congress MLA said.
He advised the government to take corrective measures for streamlining and rescuing the MeECL.

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