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Power employees to strike if Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 passed

VINOD GUPTA | June 17, 2022 05:51 PM

CHANDIGARH: Power sector employees and engineers across the country will be forced to resort to nationwide strike in protest against any unilateral move to rush through the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 of Parliament without taking the power sector employees and engineers into confidence.

V K Gupta a spokesperson for All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said that they strongly oppose the announcement made by Union Power Minister R K Singh to pass the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament.

It may be mentioned that after the farmers' agitation last year, the central Government had assured United Kisan Morcha Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 will not be placed in Parliament without discussion with all the stakeholders. The biggest stakeholders in the power sector are electricity consumers and power employees, said Gupta In the name of giving the power to consumers to select a distribution company the Central Government is going to abolish the license of electricity distribution and give the facility to private corporates to supply electricity through the existing network of Discoms and earn the profit.

V K Gupta said that this bill is trumpeted to bring power sector reforms while it is the document that will facilitate the death knell to the power distribution companies. The bill is to facilitate the private players to make open loot by making use of the infrastructure of electricity distribution utility without any investment.

He further said that through this amendment bill, electricity is not going to be cheaper for the common consumer in any way. Private sector power companies will simply use the Government network to provide electricity only to profitable industrial and commercial consumers.

The loss-making domestic consumers and the consumers of rural areas will by default be with the Discoms. The central government earlier forced the state Discoms to go for costly long term power purchase agreements and payment of fixed charges even without using a single unit
has made the finances of Discoms critical, said V K Gupta. Government must analyze the reasons for the failures of reforms carried out so far before trying another experiment.

Competition can be considered only if the distribution sector is in financially healthy condition. With the distribution sector facing extreme financial distress, the government should first ensure the financial health of Discoms before making an assessment of consumer choice.

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