AIPEF criticize arm twisting tactics of Union Power Minister

Vinod Gupta | August 27, 2019 01:59 PM

CHANDIGARH: All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF)  strongly oppose the arm twisting  tactics of Union Power Minister , who has threatened the state power distribution companies  that they will have to hand over electricity supply businesses to multiple licensees or franchisees to get central government assistance or loans from the Power Finance Corporation.

Shaliendra Dubey Chairman AIPEF said that since the electricity is a concurrent subject, how central government can dictate its terms to state governments. The record of franchisees has also not been very positive. Almost every franchise who had undertaken creamy city areas has already failed in various states to deliver power to consumers and requested state power Distribution Company to take over their systems back.

 The franchisees in Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Gwalior, Sagar, Ujjain, and Nagpur have miserably failed. In other places franchisees regularly defaults in making payments to the power corporations.  With such a poor history of privatisation, from where the new franchisees shall emerge.  Even the government of India which has formed a joint power distribution company of NTPC and Power Grid has no exposure to power distribution.

An independent evaluation of the performance of the privatized utilities across the country, their impact on the consumers in terms of the cost burden and customer service and the financial burden caused by them to the banks is the dire need of hour.

 On the other had state Discoms have improved their collection efficiency and have delivered better utility services in Gujarat, AP, Telangana , Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal  and in many other states, compared to private entities.

AIPEF criticized the mandatory letter of credit (LC) policy mechanism for Discoms issued by Ministry of power to facilitate the payment of private power producers without similar benefit to state generating companies. Though the union minister claims this as success in the not distant future power distribution companies will face cash crunch even to pay the salaries to its employees in some states. Further in case of power supply stoppage by private generator Discoms will have to pay fixed charges and they would not be able be allowed to purchase power in open market and the consumers will be the worst sufferers.

The power policy of the government seems to be  only to safeguard the interests of private power producers and dumping state sector.

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