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Pro-Corporate bill a direct attack on federalism, withdraw anti-consumer electricity bill: Mahila Kisan Union

Jalandhar August 8, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
In a direct attack on the Narendra Modi led central government over the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the Mahila Kisan Union has demanded that this black legislation should be withdrawn immediately as the bill is being brought against the interests of farmers, poor consumers and electricity workers at the cost of corporate houses who were being given complete freedom for distribution of electricity and also violates the spirit of federalism.

Apart from this, demanding the Chief Ministers of the states and opposition parties to strongly oppose this pro-corporate bill, the Mahila Kisan Union has alleged that after this bill becomes a law, the rights of State Electricity Boards would become negligible and all the powers would be vested with the center and central electricity commission.

Talking to reporters here on Monday, Mahila Kisan Union President Biba Rajwinder Kaur Raju categorically said this legislation directly usurp the rights of states while the electricity is a concurrent subject under the Constitution. Therefore, in the spirit of the federal structure, such an important bill should have been brought only after consultation with the states and stakeholders.

The farmer leader demanded that an open discussion should be held with all concerned before introducing this black bill in the current monsoon session and it should not be passed in a hurry as it dilutes the powers of states, electricity boards and allows a free hand to corporate power companies.

The woman leader reminded the Modi dispensation that while repealing three agriculture laws on December 9, 2021, the Center had assured that it would not go ahead with the implementation of the Electricity Amendment Bill without prior consultation with farmers and all stakeholders but now the government is running away from its promises.

Biba Raju cautioned the Center that if the amendment bill was passed in its present form, it would lead to more protests and unrest in the country as farmers and disadvantaged sections of the society believe that the bill was detrimental to their interests.

Giving more information, she alleged that in this bill, the state electricity boards are bound to provide electricity to all categories of consumers. Thus private companies would supply power only to profitable industrial and commercial consumers. By providing electricity to farmers and backward classes consumers free or at low cost the government distribution companies would surely suffer more and gradually they would be in a situation of closure due to loss making enterprises.

Biba Raju further added that according to this bill, private companies would be able to use the present electricity network of the state boards by paying a nominal fee, while the cost of running the grid, wiring and maintaining the entire network and increasing the capacity would be borne by the electricity boards.

The woman leader alleged that the pro-corporate BJP government is hell bent to impose the already failed Mumbai model of power distribution across the country where companies of Adani and Tata were providing electricity to consumers at a cost of Rs 12-14 per unit. He cautioned that this corporate practice is a fraud against the common consumers and will put the consumers in grave danger in future.

He disclosed that under the Renewable Energy Purchase Order as per wind energy regulations, the bulk power buyers such as electricity boards and large consumers would have to purchase a certain share of renewable energy. This obligation also favours the big corporate power companies who produce green power in large quantities and they would sell much more expensive power as per pre-signed power purchase agreements.

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