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Windfall for private players, death knell for power utilities: AIADMK

On Tuesday Tamil Nadu government accused the Centre of not taking the state governments into confidence on the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014. State chief minister O Panneerselvam in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged him to withdraw it. 

He said the Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday should be withdrawn and the Centre should convene a meeting of the chief ministers to discuss consequences of such amendments.
“This Bill seeks to give unbridled access to private players to supply power to consumers and enable them to use the already laid out distribution network of the public sector power companies,” Panneerselvam said in a letter to Modi.

“By separating carriage and content in the distribution sector, the Bill, in one stroke, make all power utilities in the public sector totally unviable,” said the AIADMK leader. 

He said without any investment in the distribution network or any responsibility to maintain the network, the proposed supply licensees would be able to access all the high value customers in commercially viable areas amounting to cherry picking without any social obligations, while the state public sector power utilities would be left with the obligation of power supply to subsidized categories of consumers.

“This will make the state public sector power distribution companies further financially sick. Such a skewed amendment to the Act, without considering the views of the state governments, is totally against the federal spirit of the Indian Constitution and cooperative federalism, which you have been espousing,” Panneerselvam added.
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