A week after being caught in a controversy over waiving the Rs.572-crore electricity bill of a steel company, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led State government on Wednesday claimed that the decision was taken "by mistake". The government had to reverse its decision after it was revealed that the due procedure was not followed before taking the decision.

The Opposition had alleged that State Power Minister and BJP leader Chandrashekhar Bawankule was involved in favouring JSW ISPAT Steel Limited Company in Raigad district.

"It was by mistake that it was sanctioned and following which orders were issued on August 26, 2015," said Mr. Bawankule.

Asked about the loss to the exchequer as a result of this "mistake" by government officials, the Minister said that the order was withdrawn as soon as it came to the authority's notice and the State treasury had not suffered any losses.

The government will initiate a departmental inquiry against officers, including the Principle Secretary (Power), involved in the decision.

The Hindu had reported on October 22, 2015, how the government was caught in an embarrassing situation after it had to reverse its decision to waive the electricity bill of the steel giant.

On August 26, 2015, the Power Ministry issued an order waiving the power charges of JSW Ispat Steel Limited from 2012 to 2019, without discussing the matter in the Cabinet.

The company has been a beneficiary of it since 1998 till 2012.

It had then asked the government to extend the concession period. The matter was pending for three years.

The Finance department, in its letter on June 11, 2014, had said that such an extension could not be given as the State had changed its industrial policy in 2013.

"Since JSW will not be eligible under the 2013 policy, the energy department's proposal cannot be accepted," noted the then Additional Chief Secretary (Finance).