Senior BJP leader and former energy minister Shobha Karandlaje has been accused of purchasing power at higher cost even when it was available for lesser price causing severe loss to the state's exchequer. The cabinet sub-committee meeting headed by present Energy minister DK Shivakumar has prepared a draft in this regard and is expected to table the draft in the Assembly soon.

From 2008-2014, the BJP government purchased power from various sources, at many places by paying more. The draft notes that the officials - as directed by the minister - purchased power from private firms by paying hefty money. Instead, they could have made the similar purchase at a very lesser cost from the sugar factories, notes the draft. Also, power was purchased from other states, and on the majority of the occasions, no tender was invited to make the purchase, reports Kannada Prabha. "Often, the purchases were made following oral orders from the government. This has drained the state exchequer of Rs 17,000 crore," says the report.

Following serious charges of irregularities in power purchase by the previous BJP government, the government had formed a cabinet sub-committee on September 9, 2014, to look into it. The government had appointed Energy Minister DK Shivakumar to head the committee but JD(S) state president HD Kumaraswamy had taken severe objection to it. "How could the committee be impartial, if Energy minister himself was heading the probe irregularities in his own department," he had wondered. Yet, Shivakumar continued to lead the committee.

The sub-committee is expected to have a preliminary meeting of the draft prepared on June 5 and has time until June 14 to finalise it before the Assembly. Meanwhile, the members of the committee will air their observations on the draft at the meeting. They may suggest some modifications or agree for its submission before the Assembly.