Monday, July 13, 2020

Chandigarh

AIPEF demands withdrawal of electricity Amendment Bill 2020

VINOD GUPTA | June 08, 2020 12:27 PM

CHANDIGARH:All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has urged the Government of India “Not to use its brute majority in the Parliament for enacting the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020”, said V K Gupta spokesperson of Federation.
AIPEF in its letter to Union Power Minister has forwarded its initial comments and objections on the Bill 2020 and has demanded that either the Bill be withdrawn or it should be subjected it to Parliamentary scrutiny by referring it to the Standing Committee.
AIPEF has shown its deep anguish at the cavalier manner in which the center is pushing far reaching legislative amendments to the existing laws and also seeks to rewrite the roles and responsibilities of the central and the state governments against the spirit of federalism.
The proposed amendments, especially additional functions of National Load Despatch Centre, introduction of electricity contract enforcement authority, central committee selecting members of state regulatory commission and others overrides the states’ powers. ..
Even though, there was no mention in the Bill 2020 regarding privatization of electricity system of Union Territories, UTs the Government issued direct instructions to all the UTs of the country for taking steps to privatize the power distribution system.
This is an open attempt in the draft bill 2020 to introduce privatization of the distribution system through the back door of distribution sub-license or franchise. This procedure has acute risk of cherry picking of profitable areas by the private sector by which the revenues of the state Discoms will sharply reduce and cause financial distress to become even more acute and unmanageable.
The drastic measure to create another judicial authority by which high cost PPAs can be enforced on Discoms, so as to give huge profits to private generators. Instead of tackling the problem of high cost PPAs, the Government is for enforcing such high cost PPAs and putting huge financial stress on the state Discoms.
An attempt is being made to encroach upon the jurisdiction of the Regulatory Commissions. The Government a must preserve and abide by the existing principle for distancing of Government from tariff determination. With this direction for removal of subsidy, cross subsidy, the cost of power in rural areas will steeply shoot up and have damaging impact upon use of electricity for maximizing agricultural production.
The direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme is totally impracticable since the majority of state governments are already facing acute financial distress and are unable to pay the required subsidy to the state Discoms. How they can be expected to give the DBT of subsidy to the lakhs of agricultural consumers, asked V K Gupta.

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