Ignoring power thefts led to revenue losses: CAG

Panaji: The Goa Electricity department has been found to be lenient and sympathetic towards people involved in power thefts, due to which the state suffered revenue losses to the tune of Rs 2.78 crore, as per the latest CAG report. The department, in a reply to CAG has said that these power thefts were not "intentional".

The CAG has said that the department has withheld itself from booking people involved in theft cases under Section 135 of the Electricity Act 2003, which attracts imprisonment. It has also failed to refer these cases to police department adopting lenient view towards them, the CAG has pointed out.

The audit report, which was tabled on the floor of the House on Tuesday, said that the department`s act of ignoring provisions in the Act to deal with the power thefts has left the state with loss of revenue of Rs 2.78 crores during the period of 2006-11.

"During the period from April 2006 to March 2011, the meter, relay and testing (MRT) division of the department had detected 453 cases of theft of energy," the CAG has noted.

The department recovered energy charges in 141 cases to the tune of Rs 67.73 lakh. "These cases were neither reported to the police for further action nor any compounding charges were collected, thereby absolving the persons involved in the theft cases from criminal liability," the report said adding that the department failed to comply with codal provisions which led to this loss of Rs 2.78 crore by way of compounding charges.

The CAG has quoted section 135 of the Act as per which consumers will have to be levied compounding charges at the prescribed rates. After CAG`s initial queries, the department has told the authorities that the assessment of loss due to non-compounding charges was made but they were yet to be recovered.