Rai, whose reports on various scams had raised the hackles of those in the UPA government, also asked why the private power companies should have any objections to a government audit.

"Power distribution companies are like a PPP project. Their accounts should be audited by a credible auditor and government's credible auditor is CAG," Rai said.

"All of them (PPP projects) need to be audited.  There should also be an enabling clause that CAG can audit any PPP project," he said, and asked, "What is the hitch they (companies) have in the audit?" he asked.

Rai's comments came against the backdrop of the Delhi government coming out with an order on January 1 for a CAG audit of finances of three power distributing companies, BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. These companies have strongly opposed the CAG audit of their finances.

The CAG is in the process of starting audit of these companies since privatization of power distribution in Delhi in 2002.

The Delhi High Court early this month had also given its nod to the CAG to audit the accounts of private telecom companies.

It is pertinent to mention that Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chairman PD Sudhakar had in July last year favoured audits of private power companies.

"There should be a CAG audit of the accounts of all the private power distribution companies. We have already sent a recommendation to the Delhi government for it," he said then.

Some PPP projects in the country also involve those in the road and highways sector.

(Agencies)

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