Electricity Bill should not be tabled, AIEPF asks CMs to intervene

Urging the chief ministers of all the states to persuade the Central government not to table the controversial Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 during the monsoon session of Parliament, the All-India Power Engineers’ Federation (AIPEF) has threatened to launch a countrywide agitation if the bill was tabled without prior consultations.

“A meeting of the National Coordination Committee of electricity employees and engineers has been called in Delhi on July 20 in which the decision on the nationwide movement against the bill will be taken,” AIEPF chairman Shailendra Dubey said here on Monday.

The AIEPF, he said, had sent a letter to the chief ministers of all the states and urged them to make effective intervention to stop this amendment bill of far-reaching consequences.

“We have also sent a letter to the Union power minister RK Singh, demanding that the recently released Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 should not be introduced in haste and instead it should be discussed in detail with all the stakeholders, especially the electricity consumers and electricity workers,” he added.

In the letter to the minister, he pointed out that the bill had not yet been placed on the power ministry’s website and also did not contain the statement of objects and reasons to amend the Electricity Act 2003, and neither had comments been sought nor any time is given for comments from the stakeholders.

“When the Electricity Act 2003 was enacted, the electricity bill 2001 was sent to the standing committee of the Parliament, and long talks were held for two years with all the stakeholders. Now, if any amendment is required in the Electricity Act 2003, then the same method should be adopted,” Dubey demanded.

He further said that as far as giving a choice of power supply to consumers was concerned, this was a complete hoax.

“This bill will not give a choice to consumers but to the private electricity supplying companies,” he said, adding, “There is a provision in the bill that only the government company will have universal power supply obligation, which means government only will provide electricity to all categories of consumers.”