Monday, May 25, 2020

Punjab

AAP for convening of special Assembly session against Modi govt's power amendment Bill 2020

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | May 22, 2020 11:29 AM

CHANDIGARH: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab has termed the proposed Power Amendment Bill 2020 being introduced by the Union Government, as a blatant violation of the rights of Punjab and its people, demanding that the government in the saddle should immediately convene a special session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, as June 5 had been fixed for hearing arguments on the proposed draft Amendment Bill.

In a joint statement issued from party headquarters on Thursday, Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema and Deputy Leader Bibi Sarabjit Kaur Manuke said that the power sector was statutorily both the state and central governments had been vested with the power to bring in legislation on their own, saying that if the Modi government had dubious plans to establish the authority of certain corporate houses in power sector by bringing in the Electricity Amendment Bill -2020, it would divest Punjab of its power to that be in respect of minor, major decisions while the central government would have the veto power in the decision making. He added that as much as 80-85 per cent of the process of power generation in the state had already gone to private Thermal Power Corporation.

Harpal Singh Cheema said that ECE would be the sole authority to decide on the issues of agreements for sale, purchase and distribution of electricity exercising the powers of civil courts, implying that a special court decide on the power deals, wherein big corporate houses would forcibly enforce anti-people and anti-state decisions through this authority, rendering the state government powerless to even demand for reconsideration of any decision taken.

Bibi Sarabjit Kaur Manunke alleged that even experts had also expressed their worry and made cautionary remarks about the draft Electricity Amendment Bill 2020. She said  that the Modi government's proposed power amendment Bill 2020 was akin to a  robbery on the rights of every rich and poor consumer, besides hitting the state economy. Not only this, the way in which the power contract authority being set up through the Bill was aimed at relegating all legal powers to private players, which she said was mockery of the established judicial system in the country.

Bibi Manunke said that the people of Punjab were perforce paying a heavy price for the expensive and unilateral agreements inked  by the previous Badal government with private thermal plants by shutting down the government thermal plants. She demanded that the state government, besides adopting a resolution against the Power Amendment Bill 2020, by convening a special session as also for nixing the previous agreements inked by the Badal government with private thermal plants.

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