Don’t Introduce Electricity Amendment Bill: Mamata Urges PM Modi
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has alleged that states were not consulted properly before the initiation of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the Parliament and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “refrain from the initiation of the legislation” because it will hamper the interest of the larger section of the society.
In a letter written to Prime Minister Modi, Banerjee said, “Power is too important a sector for such unilateral interferences, especially when ‘electricity’ as a subject is in the Concurrent List of the Constitution of India and any legislation on a subject in such a list needs serious prior consultation with the States. In the present case, there has been some tokenism of consultations, but no real exchange of views, which is antithetical to the federal structure of our polity”.
Registering her protest against the recent Central government’s move to place the much-criticized Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the Parliament, the chief minister said, “Such a laissez faire approach would result in concentration of private profit – focussed utility players in the lucrative urban-industrial segments, while poor and rural consumers would be left to be tended by public sector DISCOMS”.
“In the name of market reforms, the State will give up its commanding height, state PSUs will become sick and ailing and yet forced to serve areas where no corporate body would focus. Allowing cherry-picking to select private entities cannot be the goal of public policies, particularly in a strategic sector like power,” she alleged.
The Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 seeks to propose amendments to the Electricity Act 2003. The 2003 Act governs the power sector structure and policy. It recommends the generation, distribution, transmission, trading and use of electricity.