Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Chandigarh

Scrap the Chandigarh electricity privatization process -AIPEF

VINOD GUPTA | January 17, 2021 02:05 PM

CHANDIGARH: All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has urged the
Punjab Governor who is also Chandigarh administrator to
scrap the process for Chandigarh electricity privitisation.

Padamjit Singh Chief Patron AIPEF in his letter to the Punjab Governor
states that UT administration is fast-tracking the process of privatization
of the Electricity Department at a supersonic speed as has been
claimed that the winning bid for the privatisation of the department
could be selected the same day on the tender opening date.
It may be mentioned that for privatisation of distribution the draft standard bidding document (SBD ) issued by the ministry of power specifies that bids should be valid for 180 days from the date of opening and bids with validity less than 180 days are to be rejected. Ministry of Power has not yet
finalized the standard bidding documents after inviting comments
and suggestions from the public.
There are 17 intended bidders, including Tata Power Company Limited, GMR
Generation Asset Limited and Adani Transmission Limited
and NTPC.
While Chandigarh administration claims that under Electricity Act 2003
the service conditions and pay of employees would be protected
but the reality is that once privatisation takes
place the implementation of Act and its safeguards are entirely the sweet
will of private party and the safeguards in Act would remain on paper only.

V K Gupta spokesperson AIPEF said that in the case of Delhi/DESU
privatisation the private companies flatly refused to accept the pension liability of staff which caused endlessly hardship and suffering. AIPEF has expressed serious apprehensions that while service and pay conditions of UT employees are bound to suffer, neither UT administration nor power ministry will be able to help once the 100 % sellout of the UT Electricity department is completed.
Gupta further said that in the draft electricity (amendment)
bill 2020 there was no proposal to privatise electricity distribution of
union territories but on 13th May the Finance Minister suddenly made an announcement regarding privatising electricity in all the UTs of the country.

There is no justification for privatisation in the case of UT Chandigarh
since it has low losses, low tariff, and good consumer service
while if privatising is adopted there will be a certain hike in
tariff, consumer discontent, and the burden on the exchequer.
There has been widespread comment that the GOI is adopting
privatisation policy only to give a huge financial benefit to corporates and big business houses.

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