Companies & Sectors
'Round four of coal block auctions likely in 15 days'
The government plans to auction 11 coal blocks in a fourth round of bidding that is likely to start in another 15 days, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said on Friday.
 
"In another 15 days, about 8 to 11 coal blocks would be auctioned. We have to take a call. There are issues in a few blocks," Swarup told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.
 
Coal and Power minister Piyush Goyal recently said that preparations for the fourth round of auctions were in the final stages.
 
The first three rounds of auctions as well as allotment of mines, whose previous allotments had been cancelled by the Supreme Court last year, had brought the mine bearing states total revenues of over Rs.300,000 crore.
 
The mines up for auction are all "captive" category, for use by the unregulated sector to manufacture products like cement, aluminium, steel and iron.
 
Though the auction of 10 mines were listed for the third round that took place in August, legal and other issues forced the government to put up only three mines for bidding, leading to the realisation of around Rs.4,300 crore from the last round.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Official audit of discoms 'misguided exercise': Court
 In a setback to the Arvind Kejriwal government, the Delhi High Court on Friday quashed the executive decision to get the books of accounts of the three private power distribution companies (discoms) in the city-capital scrutinised by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
 
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw said: "There can be no other audit at the instance of state government" as there is already a watchdog, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), with powers to audit the accounts of discoms.
 
"All the power of state government relating to electricity now stand vested in DERC," the bench said, slamming Kejriwal's decision to audit the discoms as a "misguided exercise".
 
The high court order came on pleas filed by the three discoms -- Tata Power Delhi Distribution, BSES Rajdhani Power and BSES Yamuna Power -- challenging the Delhi government's January 7, 2014 order to get the CAG to audit their accounts.
 
"The Delhi government, instead of strengthening the DERC, we are constrained to observe, has undertaken a misguided exercise by issuing a direction to the CAG to audit the accounts of the discoms when the report of such audit would not have any sanctity in law for achieving the desired result," the HC verdict reads.
 
"We are unable to decipher anything, which DERC cannot and which CAG can unearth. DERC is neither found to be helpless nor dependent on the balance sheet filed by the discoms," it added.
 
Audit of the discoms under the prevalent legal regime cannot serve the object of bringing down power tariff, "even if were to find that the allegations (of inflating their previous losses) against the discoms to be true", the HC said.
 
The bench said after reenactment of law relating to the power sector and having substituted the powers of the state government with that of the regulator, it was unable to find any purpose which a report of the official auditor will serve under direction of the NCR government.
 
"Once the discoms, before incurring any expenditure above a limit, are required to obtain the prior approval of the DERC, and therefore, once the DERC approves the said expenditure, we fail to see how the CAG can be allowed to arrive at a different conclusion," the bench said in its 139-page judgment.
 
The discoms, which supply power to consumers in the capital, argued that they were private companies and hence not in the ambit of such an audit. They alleged that the Delhi government's order was a "political ploy" and was passed with "malice in law" without giving them an opportunity to be heard.
 
A draft report in August after the CAG's audit into their books had reportedly said they inflated their previous losses.
 
The three private firms had come into being in 2002 when the then Delhi government decided to privatise power distribution. Delhi discoms are a 51:49 percent joint venture between the private companies and the Delhi government.
 
The Arvind Kejriwal government had argued that a CAG audit of private discoms was necessary to clarify alleged anomalies in their accounts and that it was not aimed at interfering with their functioning.
 
Reacting to Friday's decision, AAP legislator Saurabh Bhardwaj said the official auditor had already probed the books of these three companies and had found discrepancies.
 
"I think all of you know that CAG audit is already over and it came to be known that the power discoms duped the people of Delhi of around Rs.8,000 crore."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Umesh kaushik

1 year ago

Audits are not fool proof, case in point, Enron, Satyam, Worldcom, and many more. There is a requirement of CAG audit which by and large remains immune to any influence on account of protection provided by Constitution Of India.

Indian businessman's custody extended in UAE
A UAE court has extended an Indian jeweller's custody after he failed to settle the outstanding amount of two dud cheques worth $9.2 million, a media report said on Friday.
 
M.M. Ramachandran, the owner of Dubai's Atlas Jewellery, had issued two cheques to a local bank. The bank later filed a complaint against the businessman after the cheques bounced and he failed to settle the outstanding dues.
 
Police arrested 73-year-old Ramachandran in August this year and he has been in detention since then.
 
On Thursday, Dubai court judge Ahmad Shiha refused to admit a request by Ramachandran's lawyer for an adjournment to settle the case.
 
"This is the third adjournment since September 29. Why has no settlement been reached yet? The decision will be at the end of the hearing," judge Shiha told the lawyer.
 
He ordered the businessman to remain in custody until a ruling is handed out on November 12.
 
However, a member of Ramachandran's defence team said a deal has been reached with an investor who has expressed his willingness to pay the defendant's outstanding amount.
 
Under the UAE law, a cheque bounce case is automatically dropped after the signee pays the cheque's amount or reaches a settlement with the beneficiary.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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