JAMMU, July 23: Expressing their staunch opposition to the move of the Central Government to privatize the Power sector, All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has demanded that a thorough discussion with engineers and employees on the proposed Electricity (Amendment ) Bill should be held before placing the bill on the table of the Parliament.
V K Gupta, spokesperson AIPEF said that the Federation has written to R K Singh, Power Minister seeking time to discuss the issue.
It may be mentioned that Piyush Goyal, former minister used to sit across the table with the representatives of us to reduce the difference of views. A good number of suggestions of the employees and engineers were accepted by him.
Since placing of Draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the public domain amidst COVID ambiance, the Government has shattered the windows of exchange of views. On the contrary, a totally new Bill 2021 placed quashing aside the agreed-upon points by the former minister. All our submission in respect of the Bill to protect the interest of poor and rural along with agricultural consumers has been rejected.
Gupta said that the object of the Bill is to create ample scope of the profit greedy business community, while public-owned power utilities will be driven out from the revenue potential urban and the industrial areas will have the scope of one-sided business in high consumer density areas.
He said 12 states and UTs vehemently opposed the proposition of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill. Aggrieved farmers have pressed the Government to put a hold upon Electricity (Amendment) Bill. Ministry of Power has given major stakeholders the state and power utilities only a few minutes each for consultation on the draft amendment bill to each state.
Along with the scrapping of the Amendment Bill, AIPEF is also pressing the Centre to cancel all existing private licenses and franchises in the power sector, along with withdrawing the process of privatization of electricity in states and UTs.
AIPEF is not against reforms in the power sector. However, reforms don’t mean that the power sector will have to be privatized, he added.