India

AIPEF demands withdrawal of Electricity (Amendment) Bill

December 23, 2018 02:02 PM

CHANDIGARH: Power engineers and workers from across the country have demanded that the proposed legislation Electricity Bill 2018 should be withdrawn instead of being rushed through Parliament in the current winter session, said V K Gupta Spokesperson All India power Engineers Federation (AIPEF).

 A number of seminars on the proposed  Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2018 have been held up at Chhenai, Vishakhapattnam, Pune, Hyderabad, Dehradun, Bhopal   and Patna to apprise the power sector employees about the pitfalls of proposed bill.

 The power engineers and employees are opposed to the bill in the present form and had suggested certain changes in the draft bill but the central government has not considered the same and unilaterally resorting to amend the Electricity Act 2003. The proposed changes will push the public sector undertakings into further financial crisis and the common people to face the burden of higher tariff together with the snatching of powers of state governments.

The bill has far reaching consequences both for state governments and consumers. The bill proposes a licensee between transformer and point of consumption. Essentially these will privatize   the supply of electricity. The bill also takes away the purview of state government and regulator by making it mandatory to implement the national tariff policy. This violates constitution of India as electricity is a concurrent subject.

There is a need to evaluate the experience gained in last fifteen years after enactment of Electricity Act 2003 as a result of which state electricity boards were unbundled into generation transmission and distribution companies. The experiences of Delhi and Orissa that undertook extensive privatization needs to be evaluated.

The experience of 34 thermal power stations set up by private investors is a distressing experience. Sixty five percent of the investment has become stressed assets resulting in lakh of crores of non- performing   assets for banks and financial institutions. The over invoicing of imported equipment and coal has become a routine and Directorate of revenue intelligence has issued 500000 crores worth of notices.

All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has written to Union Power Minister that power engineers across the country would participate in the two days work boycott on January 8 and 9 against the proposed Electricity (Amendment) bill -2018 as decided by the NCCOEEE).

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