Punjab does not back Power Ministry’s reform
CHANDIGARH: Punjab Government is not in favour of delicensing of the distribution sector as proposed in the draft amendment of the Electricity Act 2003.
Punjab Government was in shock as the Union Power Ministry of Power in its minutes of meeting stated that the proposed reforms and giving choice to the consumer is a welcome step. The state government officials have now written to the power ministry that they never stated this and we had mentioned only that the matter is under consideration of the government as such minutes of the meeting be amended.
The Union Power Minister conducted a virtual online meeting with all the state power secretaries and CMDs of Discoms on February 17, 2021, to discuss the proposed amendments in the Electricity Act 2003. From Punjab the meeting was attended by Anurag Aggarwal ACS Power and Venu Prasad CMD PSPCL.
The minutes of the meeting dated March 19 describes the comments/suggestions of the Punjab government briefly.
Punjab mentioned in the meeting that regarding the proposal of renewable purchase obligations. it may be kept in view that PSPCL has to bear the cost of fixed charges to the three private thermal power plant generators with whom they have signed long power purchase agreements.
Union Power Minister said in the meeting that Discoms inefficiency is the result of its monopoly and the government wants to replace its monopoly by competition and hence reforms in the power sector or essential.
V K Gupta Spokesperson All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said that as far as big consumers are concerned, they are already a provision for a competition called open access.
That means, if a big industrial unit located in Punjab, can bargain electricity cheaper from outside state sources in the country it can buy the cheaper power by paying the cost of transmitting the power from that source to Punjab.
The so-called competition is for small power consumers like domestic consumers is practically not feasible.
The promise of competition is just a slogan to justify privatisation of the power sector.