Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Chandigarh

Don't rush electricity amendment bill to Parliament:AIPEF

VINOD GUPTA | July 05, 2021 05:14 PM

CHANDIGARH: All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) in a letter to the Prime Minister
has stressed that the proposed electricity amendment bill 2021 should
not be rushed to the Parliament during the pandemic period and
before detailed discussion with power sector engineers and employees.
V K Gupta spokesperson of AIPEF said that the Ministry of Power circulated the
Draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021
on February 5 only to the state secretaries of energy for comments to be
sent within 2 weeks which was totally inadequate. This procedure is anomalous
and defective as the important stakeholders comprising power sector engineers
and employees, electricity consumers have been excluded from giving their comments.

Further, even before the time completion of two weeks, video conferences were proposed to be held on February 17 to give views on amendments. The virtual discussions were also held with regulators. The whole exercise to rush through Electricity
(Amendment) Bill 2021 is thus nontransparent, undemocratic, and discriminatory.

The All India Power Engineers Federation had raised this issue at the very beginning by seeking a period of six months on account of the prevailing pandemic. Since electricity is a concurrent subject,
the exercise to amend the electricity act 2003 by excluding major stakeholders is against the constitution.

V K Gupta said that the government is trying to rush through amendments to the Electricity Act 2003, which would cause far-reaching harm resulting from hasty decisions without adequate analysis or consideration.
The government should review the performance of the state power utilities and only after that the revised draft of the Electricity amendment bill be put in the public domain for discussion.

The proposed amendments should not be “restricted” to limited stakeholders,
but instead, the viewpoints of all the stakeholders are taken into account.
Further increase of green power target of 175 GW by 2022 to 450 GW by 2030
needs to be discussed before finalizing the same to meet international obligations.

It may be mentioned that power sector engineers and employees are busy these days in maintaining round-the-clock electricity to the agriculture sector and meeting peak demand of respective states. They should be given enough time to discuss the bill threadbare after the
normalcy restored in the country after the second pandemic wave.
Government must not repeat the mistake of trying to rush through the amendments by ignoring the objections

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