New Delhi: The state-owned EESL today refuted allegations of irregularities in procurement of LED bulbs for the Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme, terming them as "false, misleading and devoid of any facts".
"In response to allegations raised in some newspapers today, the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a company under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power, has strongly refuted the claims, stating it is false, misleading and devoid of any facts," a power ministry statement said. EESL said the LED bulbs are procured by it in "the most transparent and professional manner".
"Till date, over 22 crore LED bulbs have been sold under the UJALA scheme, leading to savings in consumer electricity bills by Rs 11,500 crore," it said.
The EESL's response followed a press statement from AICC (All India Congress Committee), which alleged irregularities in the tendering process of LED items, violations in Make in India policy by import of Chinese LED bulbs, flouting of all vigilance norms and a scam of Rs 20,000 crore by the company.
The ministry statement said the National LED programme conducted by EESL has helped all stakeholders.
The programme has been acclaimed internationally as one of the best practices of innovative service model, transparency by putting monitoring in public domain, scalability and commercial sustainability by demonstrating a model that does not require public funds to implement energy efficiency. It said the allegations are false, malicious, misleading, motivated and devoid of any facts and need to be completely disregarded.
"EESL stands by the professionalism, values and highest standards of public probity and transparency that it has demonstrated in all its programmes," the company said.
EESL was incorporated as a joint venture of 4 CPSUs of the Ministry of Power, NTPC, PGCIL, REC and PFC and is under the administrative control of the ministry.
"The company follows all the norms and procedures that are applicable to CPSUs and is audited by CAG. The statutory audit of EESL has been completed for all financial years till 2015-16 and will commence for the current financial year shortly," the ministry said.
EESL is the implementing agency for national LED lighting programme that was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on January 5, 2015. The programme is designed to reduce energy consumption in the lighting sector and promote LED based efficient lighting products.
Elaborating, the ministry said the procurement norms for the LED programmes allow only those bidders who have manufacturing facilities in India. As a result, almost all LED bulbs are being assembled in India and the manufacturing capacity has risen to about 3-4 crore LED bulbs every month now from about 1-2 lakh 3 years ago.
It said no Chinese or any other manufacturer that is yet to set up manufacturing facilities in India has participated in the tenders.
The prices of LED bulbs have reduced by 88 per cent while the quality has improved. The procurement price of 7W LEDs in January 2014 was Rs 310, which is down to Rs 38 in August 2016 for a 9W LED bulb. Retail prices of LED bulbs have come down to 30 per cent of what they were 3 years ago.
In a clarification on the order received in the last quarter, the ministry said EESL procured 5 crore LEDs in September 2016 and the company that won the bid has already supplied close to 4.8 crore LEDs. The balance will be done by the end of this financial year as per the tender conditions. The ministry said EESL has replaced over 19 lakh street lights with LEDs and introduced smart controls to allow transparent monitoring real time.
The EESL conducts social audits in all places where the programme is under implementation and the results have seen a very high level of satisfaction, the ministry said.
Updated Date: Mar 28, 2017 13:35 PM