Thursday, May 28, 2020

National

AIPEF urges CMs to oppose amendments in Electricity Act 2003

VINOD GUPTA | May 22, 2020 07:42 PM

CHANDIGARH: All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has urged Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, and other states to press upon the Government of India to put the amendments in Electricity Act 2003 on hold.

AIPEF in its letter to the Chief Ministers has impressed upon the state chief ministers that electricity is a concurrent subject thereby the State Governments have equal rights and jurisdiction over matters relating to electricity and pertaining to the State, such as consumer tariff and subsidy and the center is trying to snatch the same through this bill.

In the proposed Electricity (Amendment ) Bill 2020, State Electricity Regulatory Commission is required to notify tariff without subsidy and with the provision of direct benefit transfer will be practically unworkable and result in huge hardships to the agricultural and other consumers who will have to pay the electricity bills upfront while subsidy may be delayed to any extent.

V K Gupta Spokesperson AIPEF said that at present Punjab is supplying free power to the agriculture sector while Haryana is charging Rs.35 per BHP per month for the same. Once the bill is passed by the Parliament the farmers will have to give about Rs. 6000 per month and then wait for the transfer of the subsidy money to their account. Similar will be the fate of other subsided consumers like BPL domestic consumers.

 The existing Electricity Act 2003 has sufficient flexibility by which it can be implemented by various states across the country as per the prevailing circumstances and conditions in the state.

 The proposed creation of the Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority is just for forcing the states to purchase high-cost power so as to ensure windfall profit for IPPs and multinationals.  Already the mechanism for dispute resolution and arbitration is available in all PPAs.

 The amendment regarding renewable purchase obligation (RPO) provides for penalty in case of shortfall in meeting the RPO target.  The central government has set the target of renewable energy to 450 GW by 2030.  The States would be having to purchase renewable capacity under RPO even though renewable power, maybe of high cost and unaffordable.

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