Pondy CM objects to Centre's decision to privatise distribution of power in Union Territories

Puducherry, May 18 (PTI) Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Monday accused the Centre of acting arbitrarily and ignoring the rights of the States by taking decisions on authorising private players to distribute power in Union Territories.

Talking to newsmen, the Chief Minister referred to a recent announcement by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on privatisation of power distribution in union territories while unveiling steps to implement the Prime Minister's economic stimulus package.

'This announcement is a clear case of ignoring the rights of the States although the subject of power comes under the concurrent list.

`The Centre should consult the governments concerned before taking a decision,' he said.

He claimed that the Centre had opened up several important sectors aimed at involving the private sector.

Narayanasamy said the territorial administration had been providing free power supply to farmers here and the poor families were also being supplied power free of cost upto first 100 units of consumption.

He said the administration was also luring industrialists to set up units by extending concessions in power supply.

'All these benefits meant for the farmers, the poorer sections and industrialists would go for a toss once the private sector gets the right to distribute the power,' he said.

'Power distribution should be prerogative of the concerned territorial government as is the case in Puducherry now in view of its essentiality and inevitability to help farmers boost farm production, improve the lot of the poor and attract industrial entrepreneurs,' the chief minister said.

He questioned the necessity for the Centre to take a decision 'arbitrarily and without consulting the concerned Union Territories.' Narayanasamy said he had not received any reply to his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi protesting against the move of the Centre to bring in an enactment relating to power sector.

'Farmers are living peacefully and carrying on their avocation with the free supply of power and this should not be disturbed,' he added.PTI COR BN WELCOME BN WELCOME