Twenty-seven lakh power sector employees and engineers will protest as the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 will be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The protest is against the privatisation of electricity.
The bill aims at the entry of private companies into the electricity distribution sector. It seeks to enable power consumers to choose from multiple service providers as in the case with telecom services.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has warned the Centre against passing the Bill. All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has demanded that the bill be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy for wider consultation.
AIPEF Chairman Shailendra Dubey said the claim of providing a choice of multiple service providers to power consumers in the Bill is “misleading” and it will make state-run discoms loss making entities.
“As per the bill, only government discoms will have universal power supply obligation therefore private licensees will prefer to supply the electricity in profit-making areas only i.e. industrial and commercial consumers.” Thus profit-making areas will be snatched from government discoms and they will by default become loss-making companies and in the coming days will not have money to purchase electricity from generators, he said.
“The government discoms network will also be handed over to private licensees at throw-away prices,” he feared.
The bill also provides for inserting a new section 60A in the Act so as to enable management of power purchase and cross-subsidy in case of multiple distribution licensees in the same area of supply.
Dubey explained that “Cost of electricity includes 85 percent cost of power purchase agreements. Since power purchase agreements are for 25 years therefore the cost of electricity is not going to be reduced. Therefore the promise of competition and cheaper electricity to consumers is a farce”.
With inputs from PTI