All-India Congress Committee general secretary and Himahcal party in-charge Birender Singh alleged that the Atal Bijli Bachat Scheme, under which compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) were given free of cost to the consumers to save energy, was a huge scam in which the state had incurred a loss of Rs 80 crore.

In a press communiqué, he said the government had purchased CFLs in bulk to avail the benefit of carbon credit but it had failed to secure it and when the matter was highlighted the head of the electricity board was changed in a hurry.

He also questioned the purchase of CFLs at higher rates and said people had bought incandescent bulbs from the market to exchange four bulbs in exchange for one CFL, he said. There is no trace of the ordinary bulbs thus collected and CFLs worth Rs 5 lakh had fused in the absence of proper arrangements to distribute them.

The CAG had made it clear that norms were not followed while purchasing the CFL bulbs under the Atal Bihari Saving Scheme. Two companies were given the benefit of Rs 1.5 crore each from the deal, he alleged. Seven companies had bid for this auction – M/s Sokomak Pvt Ltd, New Delhi and M/s Phoenix lamp Pvt Ltd, Noida, offered a pack of 4 bulbs at Rs 387. The total purchase order on this deal added to Rs 63.80 crore. On this amount 8% excise duty and 3 per cent cess was to be levied, but only 4 per cent excise duty was levied. It resulted in great loss to the state exchequer while the companies bagged a profit of Rs 1.5 crore each.