Put power reforms minus privatization in poll manifestos - AIPEF

Vinod Gupta | March 20, 2019 04:43 PM

Punjab News Express/Vinod Gupta
CHANDIGARH: All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has made an appeal to all political parties to include power sector reforms minus privatization in their manifestos for the next general elections. The process of reforms in the power sector must continue in consultation with all the stake holders including electricity board engineers, said V K Gupta Spokesperson AIPEF.

AIPEF Federal Executive meeting at Varanasi will be held on April 7 to chalk out the

Strategy to campaign for including our view points on power sector in Election Manifesto of national parties

Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014 which has lapsed now had proposed the segregation of carriage and content with the aim to privatize power supply and was opposed by all the power sector engineers and employees. The amendment bill suggested bifurcation of the distribution of power into carrying and sale, with the state laying down the wires that carry power, while private companies compete over selling that power.

V K Gupta said that next government must take into account the various suggestions made by the AIPEF in its submissions to the power ministry. These included that provisions in the bill should be enabling and l not mandatory for the states. There should not be any binding on the states to privatize the power distribution.

After allowing the entry of private sector in generation unplanned growth and capacity addition, particularly the thermal capacity by the private sector has accentuated the already acute hydro-thermal mix of generation. There has been steep decline in the thermal plant load factor (PLF) resulting in stressed assets. In addition, the Discoms have been forced to back down and even shut down their stations to provide load against load guarantees given in the power purchase agreements ( PPAs) through regressive deemed generation clauses.

The Federation shares the anxiety about climate change and the need to take corrective action, however, the policy towards climate change requires serious debate and discussion. The Federation urges that in this very vital area policy should not be unilaterally determined.

The long terms PPAs of high cost renewable power that do not reflect the current reduction in solar energy prices need to be reviewed. Further coal cannot and should not be written off as a vital source of primary energy for India.

Power sector is facing serious challenges such as large scale financial losses, rising tariffs, deteriorating performance of existing plants and quality related concerns and poor quality of supply and service. The power sector reforms should aim at improving the power sector improvements both in technical and financial side.

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