Hyderabad: The All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has urged the Members of Parliament to intervene against Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020. In an appeal sent to the MPs on Saturday, the federation has termed the bill as ‘draconian’ and alleged that the anti people provisions of the bill were aimed at total privatization of the power sector.
The federation chairman Shailendra Dubey said the bill to amend the Electricity Act 2003 was expected to be introduced in the Parliament during the monsoon session. “The bill has several features that are not acceptable and it is requested that MPs should strongly oppose the bill,” he said.
Listing out the controversial provisions of the bill, the Federation said that while electricity was a concurrent subject, the States have equal rights on legislative matters, whereas the amendment bill was an attempt by the Centre to impose its will or dictates on the States without any consultation or concurrence of States.
The Federation argued that the federal structure of Electricity as granted under the Constitution must be retained and honoured and the amendments should have been discussed in detail with States. Electricity as a concurrent subject is distinct from Railways or Posts and Telegraphs which are Central Subjects, the AIPEF said.
The bill proposes to eliminate subsidy in tariff and introduce new tariff, based on cost of electricity. “This would make the tariff of domestic and agricultural consumers to become too high and unaffordable. The Centre wants to introduce Direct Benefit Transfer of power subsidy which would adversely impact the farmers particularly as they would have to make payment of Discom bills while subsidy from the State may be delayed by several months, ” the Federation pointed out.
It was pointed out that the Centre wants to dictate the electricity tariff by making the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions subservient to tariff policy that would be determined by the Centre. The Centre intends to introduce privatization of electricity distribution functions by introducing Distribution Sub licensees and Franchisees to distribute power without license. The private parties would take over the high revenue and profitable areas which would further financially impact the State Discoms.
Refer to Standing Committee
“If and when the Electricity (Amendment) Bill2020 is introduced in Parliament, the MPs from both the houses must stress and insist that the Bill 2020 should be referred to the Standing Committee on Energy to examine, discuss and debate the Bill and submit its conclusions to Parliament for final decision,” AIPEF urged MPs. MPs should stress that the objections already raised by States against the Bill have not been addressed in Draft bill, it said.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.