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Chandigarh extends bid submission date for privatization of electricity department

VINOD GUPTA | March 09, 2021 04:36 PM

CHANDIGARH: Chandigarh Administration has extended the last date of submission of bids for selection of bidders despite receipt of six bids for the privatization of the Electricity Department to March 17.

As many as 20 intended bidders had originally purchased the tenders, but only six companies, namely Sterlite Power, ReNew Wing Energy, NESCL (NTPC), Adani Transmission Ltd, Tata Power and Torrent Power had submitted their bids to take part in the privatization of the power wing of the Engineering Department.

During an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by the home secretary on February 26, it was decided that UTs like Chandigarh where substantive progress has been made will continue the process and send a cabinet note to the Ministry of Home affairs.It may be mentioned that all UTs are under the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry, the function of competitive bidding for privatization is in the purview of the Power Ministry.

On November 9 last year, the UT Engineering Department had invited bids for privatization of the Electricity Department.
On a petition filed by the UT Powermen Union, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on December 1 stayed the process for selling 100% stake in the electricity department and on January 12 the Supreme Court stayed the High Court order and directed the High Court to decide the matter within 3 months. The next date of hearing in the high court is March 16.

It may be mentioned that the Bombay High Court has suspended the tender process for selling a 51% share of the electricity department in Dadra and Nagar Haveli in a PIL case until further orders in the matter. The petitioner has alleged that despite the relevant Electricity Department not incurring any loss, there is an attempt to transfer 51% shares of a company that is yet to be incorporated.
While in Dadra and Nagar Haveli the bids were opened and Torrent emerged as the highest bidder, in Chandigarh, the 6 bids received remain unopened while the date has been extended to March.18

V K Gupta spokesperson of All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said that the federation in a letter to Union Power Minister has strongly urged the Ministry of Power to withdraw its misplaced policy to privatize the electricity distribution of all the Union Territories.

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