Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], June 3 (ANI): Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urging him to withdraw proposed amendments to the Electricity Act as 'it would have an adverse impact directly on the management of the State Electricity organisations.'
This comes in the backdrop the centre asking the states to express their opinion on the proposed Draft Electricity Bill Amendment Act 2020.
"The proposed Electricity Amendment bill takes away certain functions/powers of the State Government. The provision to appoint State Electricity Regulatory Commission by a selection committee constituted by the Government of India and entrusting the responsibilities to a neighbouring State Electricity Regulatory Commissions under certain circumstances is hitting on the core of the Federal Polity, which is enshrined in the Constitution. Merely a particular subject is in the concurrent list of the Constitution does not mean that the Government of India/Parliament will enact laws which have a direct and major influence on the functioning of the State Government. We strongly oppose such a tendency," Rao said in a letter.
The Chief Minister said any National Renewable Energy Policy should be formulated with the explicit consent of the State Governments,' but not merely in consultation with the State Governments.'
"Each State in India has its own unique situations like the potential for hydropower, wind power, solar power, land availability etc. As such, states should have the flexibility to determine within the broad policy at the national level without any penal provisions," it added.
"As per the proposed amendment bill, NLDC is made all-powerful with regard to the scheduling of power throughout the country," he noted.
In the letter, the Chief Minister highlighted that "the State Units will not be able to compete with Central Generating Stations. The cost of generation of Central Generation Utilities such as NTPC, NHPC etc will be less and get priority in merit order despatch causing loss to State generating companies. Therefore, intrastate transmission decisions should be left to the SLDCs only."
Rao said the draft bill also has a provision for the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of subsidy provided to consumers, particularly to the agriculture and domestic sectors. This would work against the interest of farmers and very poor domestic consumers.
"It has been the policy of the Telangana Government that the farmers should receive 2430 free power. Mode of payment of the subsidy should be left to the State Government. Any proposal to modify the current statute on this specific subject matter will be highly objectionable to our Government," it added.
The proposed amendment bill "seeks to take away the functions of the State Government in constituting the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, which is against the spirit of the Federalism."
Further, the Chief Minister said these amendments are neither in the public interest nor in the interest of State Power Utilities / State Government. "In the circumstances stated above, Telangana State Government is of the opinion that the Ministry of Power should be advised to withdraw the amendments proposed in the public interest." (ANI)