VIJAYAWADA: At a time when the Centre, investors, industry executives and credit rating agencies have been cautioning the YSRC government against its decision to review contracts signed during the TDP regime, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy made it clear that he would not succumb to any kind of pressure. He told the cabinet sub-committee, appointed to probe the alleged irregularities in the previous government, to take a call on reverse tendering soon.
His comments came on a day when reports surfaced that the Japanese Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu, shot off a missive to the CM, raising concerns over the State’s decision to renegotiate renewable PPAs. Japanese companies have substantial investments in at least two major renewable energy developers with stakes in AP. In the review meeting at his camp office in Tadepalli on Wednesday, the CM told the members of the sub-committee, not to be unnerved by the pressure. “Even I have a lot of pressure, but I am not going to yield.
We will not take a step back in our fight against corruption. Finalise the issue of reverse tendering soon,” he told the ministers. “Should we be the custodians of people’s money? Or should we be the protectors of the wrongdoers?” he sought to know. When contacted, a highly placed source confirmed to TNIE that the Japanese Ambassador had indeed sent a letter to the CM. The Japanese envoy, in his letter, urged the CM to reconsider the decision in the context of ‘honouring laws’ and also in view of the fact that continued investment in renewable energy is extremely important for protecting the environment and economic growth of India.
‘Why nobody questioning reasons for Rs 18,000 crore debt of Discoms?’
The State government found it odd for a diplomat of the Ambassador’s rank to directly write to the Chief Minister of a State. “We felt it was strange. We have not heard of an Ambassador writing directly to a CM like this. It seems unprecedented,” the source observed. Defending the State government, he opined that diplomats and industrialists appear to be concerned about going by the negative coverage in the national media.
“All the Chief Minister wants to do is eradicate corruption and ensure transparency in the interest of the State. Why is nobody questioning the reasons for a staggering `18,000 crore debt the Discoms have accumulated under Chandrababu Naidu’s tenure?” he wondered. To a query on how the government will handle the pressure from all quarters, he replied that the Chief Minister is not one to back down.