Assembly resolves against Central Electricity Act Amendment Bill

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Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao came down heavily on the Central government for forcing on the states its proposed Central Electricity Act 2003 Amendment Bill terming it as draconian and demanded to withdraw the same in the larger interests of the people.

A resolution to this effect has been moved in the house by the Chief Minister which was passed unanimously. CM in his speech eulogised on the ill-effects of the bill. He alleged that both the erstwhile Congress party and the present BJP governments are violating the fundamental principals of protecting state’s rights as enshrined in the constitution. Narendra Modi government has gone a step ahead and curtailing the state’s fundamental rights by centralising everything. As part of it, the Modi government had proposed this amendment to the power bill 2003 which reduces states to dismal level as all powers will be vested with Centre. States need to approach Delhi for any disruption of power as the state cannot do anything in the absence of local Power Load Dispatch centres, he said.

He accused the centre of not able to utilise 2 lakh MW surplus power in the country. Instead, it wants to have control over the state’s utility. A major danger can be foreseen that privatisation will rule the roost. There was heavy pressure on me to privatise the power generation but I refused to yield keeping in the view people’s welfare.

If the Centre’s proposed bill comes into effect, anyone can buy power from anywhere. If that happens, what will be the fate of our Discoms, Transco and Genco organisations, he questioned adding that what would be the fate of those 50,000 workers working in these organisations. The power sector will also meet the same fate that of BSNL, Airlines, LIC and many more which have been privatised. “If the Bill comes up, there will not be any subsidy in any state”, he announced.

Another dangerous element in the provision is stated will not even have the powers to recruit employees as the Delhi will have sway over the Electricity Regulatory Commission, KCR pointed out. Another anomaly in the proposed bill includes 20% of the power produced through renewable energy source in Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar which was made mandatory will not be taken into consideration by the centre only to benefit private contractor. “Besides, this bill is also imposing on the states to buy power from private operators otherwise a penalty up to Rs2 will be levied on the states. What else you need to call it as draconian”, he declared.

KCR further said that Telangana has over 26 lakh borewells. Every pump needs to be fitted with a separate meter which only needs another 750 lakh crore. Besides, he said, and to collect the bills from the farmers you need to employ thousands of bill collectors on whose mercy the farmers have to depend. The state has to remain mute spectators to the happenings in the state as we have no role to play in this whole episode. “We cannot also announce any subsidy or welfare scheme in this regard”, he said concluding that “Hence, I have written a letter to the Prime Minister expressing our concerns in this regard”.

To a question posed by the CLP leader Bhatti Vikramarka with regard to the excess power bills during the lockdown, CM has assured that the months would be divided equally and rework out. “I will give orders to this effect”, he declared.

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