Power employees’ body threatens stir if electricity Bill passed in haste

If there is any unilateral move to rush through the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, in Parliament without taking stakeholders into confidence, power employees across the country will be forced to resort to nationwide strike, the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) announced Friday.

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

After the farmers’ agitation last year, the Central government had assured United Kisan Morcha that the 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, the spokesperson said.

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In the name of empowering consumers to select a distribution company, the Central government is going to abolish the licence of electricity distribution and give the facility to private corporates to supply electricity through the existing network of discoms and earn the profit, Gupta said, adding that this Bill is touted to bring reforms in the power sector while in fact it will sound the death knell to the power distribution companies.

Government must analyse the reasons for the failure of reforms carried out so far before trying another experiment. Competition can be considered only if the distribution sector is in healthy condition financially. 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, the spokesperson said.

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