Memorandum opposing Electricity Bill, 2022 submitted to Parliamentary Standing Committee-Gupta
A memorandum to the Parliamentary S nergy of parliament, opposing Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 has been submitted by V K Gupta, spokesperson of All India Power Engineers Federation.
He has requested Standing Committee to consider the points raised and then arrive at an appropriate decision keeping in view the interests of various sections of consumers.
The central government introduced the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 on August 8 in Parliament under the pretext of opening the power sector for competition.
V K Gupta in his memorandum states that the only aim of the bill is to bring corporate and private companies into the power sector and privatise the whole power distribution system.
Bill seeks to centralise almost all functions of the distribution companies as well as the state regulatory commissions and changes the character of the electricity supply industry and the federal structure of the constitution.
The memorandum states that the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 aimed at giving multiple players open access to distribution networks of power suppliers use the infrastructure of state Discoms developed at the cost of taxpayers, by paying only wheeling charges and also allow consumers to choose any service provider. This is irrelevant as the number of consumers who do not pay the “cost to serve” is very large. As per studies, more than 80% of domestic consumers do not pay the cost to serve and almost all agricultural consumers do not pay the cost to serve.
As per the bill, only government discoms will have a Universal power supply obligation therefore private licensees will prefer to supply the electricity to industrial and commercial consumers leaving the underprivileged and marginalised communities without access to power. A failed model is being introduced in India in the name of reforms.
V K Gupta claimed in the memorandum that the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 would weaken the finances of state Discoms, have an adverse impact on utility employees, cripple the Discoms finances and impose a heavy cost burden on the subsidized consumers.
Privatisation of the power sector mooted through bill will prove expensive for the public while being a boon for a few industrial houses.