Put Electricity Amendment Bill in public domain: AIPEF

NEW DELHI: The All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has demanded that the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 must be put in the public domain before starting a discussion on the same. The AIPEF shot off a letter to the Prime Minister on Friday last week and pushed for placing the bill in public domain for stakeholders’ comments.

The draft bill is not available on the power ministry website, AIPEF Spokesperson V K Gupta said in a statement.

According to the statement, the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 is included in the list of 20 new bills to be placed in the current budget session of Parliament.

The union power minister is to hold a video conference on February 17 with power secretaries of states and CMDs (chairman and managing directors) of discoms to discuss the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act 2003, it said.

AIPEF Chairman Shailendra Dubey, in a letter to the union power minister, has said this is a short cut and rushing through amendments without due consideration or deliberations is not acceptable.

There have been reports that the power ministry has circulated a draft Electricity Amendment Bill proposing changes to the Electricity Act, 2003.

The proposed amendments entail de-licensing of the distribution business, among others.

Gupta said the reports are unauthenticated and deserve to be discarded, particularly as the amendments would introduce a drastic policy of separating carriage and content which was earlier rejected by as many as 20 states.

The outcome of the various suggestions of stakeholders on the Electricity Amendment Bill of 2020 remains undisclosed and a new draft bill has been leaked to a select few, the body said.

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The present approach of the Ministry of Power is non-transparent and secretive, and it seems the government is trying to hide critical facts, it added.

AIPEF further said all the stakeholders, including associations/ unions of employees and engineers, consumers and others must be given sufficient time to present their viewpoints and the state governments are not the only stakeholders.



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