Report of Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) Correspondent
For the first time in the country, the All India Electricity Consumers Association organized the Electricity Consumers Conference in Bhopal on April 8 and 9, 2023. The two-day conference was attended by consumer representatives from 17 states. The inaugural function was presided over by Shri Sapan Kumar Ghosh, President, All India Electricity Consumers Association.
The function was inaugurated by Shri Shailendra Dubey, President, All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) through video conferencing. (Video of his inaugural speech is enclosed) Shri Dubey said that the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022, standard bid document and all the electricity rules being issued by the Ministry of Power are only for privatization of the power sector and this will lead to expensive electricity for common consumers.
The Bill proposes that a cost-effective tariff be in place. Up to 80 per cent of the tariff has power purchase cost as a key component and thus the domestic electricity tariff can go up to Rs 7 per unit. In the case of two private companies in Mumbai, the domestic tariff slab already goes up to Rs 14 to Rs 16 per unit. After the privatization of the power sector, the same will happen to domestic consumers as private companies are coming not for donations but for guaranteed profits.
AIPEF spokesperson Shri V K Gupta said that the Electricity Amendment Bill is a document for complete privatisation of the power sector. The bill aims to give companies the power to supply electricity using the infrastructure developed by state discoms at the expense of taxpayers.
National General Secretary Shri Samar Sinha said that at present electricity is an essential utility without which modern civilization cannot last even a moment. Naturally, electricity should be considered as the fundamental basic right to livelihood of the people now.
Various speakers at the conference described power privatisation and the bill as anti-consumer steps. Shri V.K.S. Parihar, Convener, Forum for Electrical Employees and Engineers, Madhya Pradesh and other office bearers were present on the occasion.
The All India Electricity Consumers Association (AIBEA) conference put forward a 14-point charter of demands, including an end to privatisation of electricity and scrapping of the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022.