Press Note by All India Power Engineers Federation
ALL INDIA POWER ENGINEERS FEDERATION
08 July, 2023
POWER ENGINEERS APPEAL CENTRAL GOVT NOT TO RUSH THROUGH ELECTRICITY (AMENDMENT) BILL 2022 IN PARLIAMENT;
BEFORE PASSING THE BILL, DISCUSSIONS BE HELD WITH POWER ENGINEERS & CONSUMERS ON VARIOUS ANTI-PEOPLE PROVISIONS OF ELECTRICTY (AMENDMENT) BILL 2022;
WARN DIRECT ACTION AGAINST ANY UNILATERAL MOVE.
The Federal Executive of the All India Power Engineers Federation, in a meeting held in Bengaluru, has demanded from the Central Government that the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 should not be placed in the Parliament in a hurry without extensive consultation with the power engineers, employees and electricity consumers. The Federation has also passed a resolution requesting the Standing Committee on Electricity Affairs of the Parliament that when the Electricity Act 2003 is going to be changed to form a new electricity law, then a detailed discussion with the biggest stakeholders in the electricity sector – power engineers, employees and consumers – should be done. It is necessary.
The resolution said that the Standing Committee on Power Affairs has not yet given time to any organization of power engineers, employees and general consumers for deliberations. In such a situation, it should be a priority that the Standing Committee hold detailed discussions with the power engineers, employees and common consumers before finalizing its report.
The All India Power Engineers Federation has warned the Central Government through a resolution that if an attempt is made to unilaterally pass the anti-people Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 in Parliament, then one lakh Power engineers along with power workers across the country will be forced to take direct action at the same moment, whose entire responsibility will be of the Central Government.
Representatives of the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu Kashmir, Delhi, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Puducherry, Jharkhand etc participated in the Federation’s Federal Executive Meeting.
Shailendra Dubey, Chairman, P Rathnakar Rao, Secretary General, K Ashok Rao Patron of AIPEF said that through the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022, the Central Government is going to amend the Electricity Act 2003, which is going to have far-reaching regressive effects on electricity employees and electricity consumers.
The Central Government had written a letter to the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha last year, promising that the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 would not be placed in the Parliament without detailed talks with the farmers and all the stakeholders. The Central Government has not held any talks with the biggest stake holders of electricity, electricity consumers and representatives of electricity employees till date. Due to this unilateral action of the Central Government, there is a lot of anger among the electricity employees.
There is a provision in the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 that licenses will be given to more than one distribution company in the same area. The new distribution companies of the private sector will supply electricity using the public sector network. There is also a provision in the bill that Universal Power Supply Obligation, i.e., the obligation to provide electricity to all categories of consumers will be only of the government company and private sector companies will earn profit by giving electricity only to profitable industrial and commercial consumers as per their wish. The work of maintaining the network will be with the government company and the government company will have to spend money on its strengthening and operation and maintenance. In this way private companies will earn profit by paying only some wheeling charges. As a result, government companies will become financially insolvent.
According to the bill, subsidies and cross-subsidies will be abolished so that the full cost of electricity can be recovered from all categories of consumers. If the pumping set of 7.5 horse power is run for only 6 hours, farmers will have to pay a bill of Rs 10 thousand to 12 thousand per month. The same will be the case with the common domestic consumers as well. Thus, this bill is neither in the interest of the general public nor in the interest of the employees.