State opposes amendment to power Bill
The State government has reiterated its commitment in preserving electricity distribution in the public sector.
Electricity Minister K. Krishnankutty, in a letter to Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy R.K. Singh, reiterated the State’s concerns regarding the contents and intention of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill.
In deciding unilaterally to present the Bill in the ongoing Parliament session ignoring objections, the Centre had challenged the federal set-up, Mr. Krishnankutty said, adding that the State was committed to maintaining power distribution in the public sector.
He conveyed to the Union Minister the State’s concerns regarding the Bill and stressed the need to keep power distribution in the public sector.
Opening up electricity distribution to private companies without any checks entailed grave implications for the consumers, he said.
Profit-focused private players would seek to corner the high-paying, high-end power consumers leaving State-run distribution companies to cater to the low-paying consumers. This would ultimately lead to huge losses for the public sector companies. Once the cross subsidy mechanism was stopped, weaker sections of society and farmers would be denied access to low-cost electricity, Mr. Krishnankutty said.
The Central government had sent the draft Bill to the States on February 5. Kerala had conveyed its opinions on certain points and strongly objected to certain others. However, the Centre had declined to consider the State’s stand, Mr. Krishnankutty said.
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