All India Power Engineers’ Federation (AIPEF) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 – which aims to empower regulators and encourage competition in the sector, among others – should be referred to Parliament’s standing committee on energy for detailed discussion with all the stakeholders.
AIPEF spokesperson V K Gupta said that as per legislative business of August 8, Union Power Minister R K Singh would move the bill to amend the Electricity Act, 2003.
“Power engineers and employees from all over the country will stop the work immediately and protest on August 8 if the bill is tabled in Parliament,” Gupta said, adding that the power employees’ protest will continue on August 10 at all the district headquarters across the country in line with the decision taken by National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) on August 2.
Power sector engineers and employees of all the states across the country have issued a notice of agitation against the ‘unilateral attempt by the Centre’ to get the bill passed in Parliament.
Despite repeated requests by the AIPEF, the central government has not held any talks with the electricity engineers or the employees even once in the past regarding the proposed changes to the Electricity Act, 2003, Gupta said.
Last year, the Centre had promised through a written letter to the United Kisan Morcha that the Electricity (Amendment) Bill would not be introduced in the Parliament without consultation with all the stakeholders, including farmers, he said. Now, if the central government has taken a ‘unilateral decision’ to introduce the bill and pass it in the Parliament, then it is a clear violation of the written promise given to the United Kisan Morcha, Gupta added.
MPs of several major political parties have termed the bill anti-people and declared strong support to the agitation of the electricity workers, he said.
Gupta said that the central government wants private firms to make profit by using the network of public sector electricity distribution companies in the name of competition. The consumer wants a cheap and reliable power supply, not competition, he added.