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APR 21 2014

Electricity watchdog asks Modi to add high level committee for affordable electricity

  • Economic Times, ET Bureau / Hyderabad
  • Created: Mon 21st APR 2014

All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF), the electricity watchdog of Chandigarh has urged BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to promise a high level committee be constituted to review the power sector reforms and recommend corrective measures to chalk out a road map for "Power to all at affordable rates."

AIPEF has forwarded a copy of a resolution to Modi that was adopted in its federal council meeting demanding immediate stoppage of blind privatization, introduction of franchisee system in power distribution and outsourcing of departmental works.

AIPEF will oppose crony capitalism, blind privatization policies & address the crisis being faced by Indian Power Sector that is threatening to undermine economic survival of the Nation.

The copies of resolutions have also been sent to Prime Minister and all chief ministers. Shaliender Dubey, chairman AIPEF, personally delivered copy of resolution to Rajnath Singh BJP president.

The main resolution adopted by Federal Executive demanded proposed amendment in Electricity Act 2003, which is aimed to further privatize distribution of power, be withdrawn. The proposed amendments will lead to Creation of multiple agencies, adding cost at every level which ultimately affects consumer. It has demanded that disastrous reform policies be rolled back and pro people agenda should be incorporated in Electricity Act 2003.

V K Gupta spokesperson of Federation said the very purpose of changing Electricity Act in 2003 was to reduce losses in Power sector, improve financial health of the sector & reduce subsidy burden of government. Due to faulty policies ,as pointed out above, the contrary has happened.

The financial health of power sector has further deteriorated & government is now even subsidizing private Discoms. What is more serious is that due to continued wrong energy policies banking sector may collapse under the burden of non-performing assets being generated by Power Sector.

Moreover autonomy and independence of Electricity Regulators has been completely eroded as it has been captured by vested interests due to interference by state government even in tariff matters under the clause of public interest. Most of regulatory commissions are headed by retired bureaucrats who are enjoying all powers without any responsibility.

Padamjit Singh chief patron of Federation said the concept of achieving low tariffs through competitive bidding in Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) has been completely defeated by the changes made in terms of reference after award of contract by giving various concessions to successful bidders. The accounts of all private sector Discoms and generating stations must be subjected to any scrutiny like CAG Audit. These Discoms and generating companies are adding cost by purchases at very high cost from their own sister concerns which is ultimately burdened on consumer.

Tags

Chandigarh Regulators Comptroller and Auditor General Electricity Act Mega Power Project Ultra Mega Power Project Power Electricity India MP

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