A bill to amend the Electricity Act to allow non-discriminatory open access to distribution networks of power suppliers was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday amid protests by the opposition, which claimed that it seeks to take away certain rights of state governments, PTI reported.
Power Minister R K Singh introduced the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 and urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to refer it to a parliamentary standing committee for wider consultations to address concerns raised by the opposition, the report said.
Opposing the introduction of the Bill, RSP member N K Premachandran, Congress members Manish Tewari and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, CPI(M)’s M A Arif, Trinamool member Saugata Roy and DMK leader T R Baalu said the draft legislation was against the federal structure of the Constitution, this report said.
Zee Business’ Ambarish Pandey reports.
– No subsidy has been discontinued in the bill.
– Those states who want to continue with giving free electricity can continue giving free power.
– States are free to decide on the timing and quantum of the subsidy.
– There have been no changes made in any provisions which impact farmers.
– Provisions have been made in the bill to create a strong regulator for all discoms whether public or private.
– There are provisions made in the bill that will govern Commission.
– Several measures have been put in the bill to avoid Cherry picking.
Bone of Contention
– Many power tariff in one day which means the rate of electricity will vary depending upon the demand. Different power tariff plans are being proposed for morning, afternoon and evening.
Recommendations on this:
– Standing committee recommended TOD: Tariff of Day
– Power ministry is preparing to implement TOD for the consumers.
– The standing committee has recommended power tariff based on cost of production.
– Standing committee is keen on strengthening power exchange to bring stability in power supply
– Only 6 per cent of the total power consumption is traded on the power exchange.
– Committee has also recommended created several power exchanges to create transparency
– State employees in many states including Haryana are against privatization
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has alleged that only a few power companies stand to benefit.
Highlights of Electricity (Amendment) Bill:
– It will be possible to have discom portability like mobile portability
– The power consumers will benefit with this
– Competition between power companies will benefit the consumers
– If power companies disconnect connections they will have to pay fines
– The proposed amendments will put an end to licensing of discoms
– Moreover, if the discoms give Renewable Energy, then the consumers will get cheap electricity
– Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority will be set up
– It will be easier to get electricity connection, to be given within set timeline
– to promote Ease of Doing business, formalities will be relaxed
– In metros, connection to be given in 7 days, in municipality in 15 days and in rural centre it will be 30 days
– For customers, a roadmap will be put for service and facilities
– The connection will be in the name of property owner; this will put a check on fraudulent connection.