Power workers threaten strike over anti-people electricity Bill
Electricity Bill seeks to separate carriage and content of power business and will help consumers to choose service providers for themselves like they do for telecom services.
“However, in case government tables the bill (Electricity Amendment Bill 2014) unilaterally in the Parliament without discussion with AIPEF, the power engineers of the country would launch agitation along with power workers, which would include one-day total strike,” All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) on Monday said in a statement.
AIPEF further said it has urged Power Minister Piyush Goyal to incorporate all the points agreed in the Bill and give hearing to the Federation before tabling it in the Parliament. The AIPEF in a meeting yesterday reviewed position regarding the proposed Bill.
Goyal had assured AIPEF that the Act was an enabling provision and not compulsory or mandatory for the states. The states would be required to give their implementation plan in 5 years and its further execution would be as per their direction without any specific time limit, it said.
He assured that there would be no cherry picking and that government companies would be the main players and privatisation would not be compulsory. Universal supply obligation would be on all the companies and not only on government companies.
“Goyal agreed that before putting the Bill in Parliament he would give hearing to AIPEF. The AIPEF meeting decided that the points agreed to by the minister should be incorporated in the Bill and the matter must be further discussed with AIPEF before tabling it in Parliament,” it said. . AIPEF Chief patron Padamjit Singh said the Federation was the first to file appeal before the Supreme Court against the judgement of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity.
The judgement had allowed the plea of Reliance Power on commissioning date of Sasan Unit 3, by which Reliance would gain Rs 1,050 crore at the cost of procurer states MP, UP, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Uttarakhand. Subsequently, five out of these seven have filed their appeals.
The dispute is related to declaration of commercial operation of Sasan Unit 3 on March 31, 2013 at a capacity of only 101.38 mw as against rated capacity of 620.4 mw net. With this, the billing and tariff year get shifted by one year leading to benefit of Rs 1,050 crore to Reliance.
As per power purchase agreement (PPA), the unit is to demonstrate capacity of 95 per cent or more for 72 hours which was not done in this case. Sasan project has 6 units of 660 mw each. “While 4,000 mw ultra mega projects at Tilaiya in Jharkhand and Krishnapatnam in Andhra had also been awarded to Reliance under competitive bidding, these projects have not been executed at all, which has adversely impacted the power development of Eastern and Southern regions,” Er P Rathnakar Rao, Secretary General AIPEF said.