GUWAHATI, May 15 - The Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees, Engineers and Pensioners (CCOEEE&P), a joint forum of the unions and associations of the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) employees, engineers and pensioners, has vehemently opposed the draft Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020.
The committee has also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal urging him to oppose the draft Bill as it goes against the interest of the country�s people.
The committee said in a statement here today that it would fight the draft Bill tooth and nail.
It needs mention that the Union Ministry of Power (MoP) notified the draft Bill on April 17, 2020, initially giving the stakeholders only 21 days� time to submit their comments, objections etc, on it. But the Union Ministry had to extend the time for the purpose, till June 5, 2020.
The committee has alleged that the draft Bill was notified �unethically� taking advantage of the countrywide lockdown. The MoP has for long been trying to amend the Electricity Act, 2003. But its attempts at amending this piece of legislation have been facing stiff resistance from the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) and most of the state governments have also been vetoing such attempts.
The Bill mainly aims at privatising the state-run power distribution companies (DISCOMs) and abolishing the cross-subsidy system. This will result in hike in power tariff, making power consumption unaffordable for the low and lower income group consumers. Besides, the draft Bill has sought to create an Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority with the design to dilute the powers of the state and Central electricity authorities.
On top of all the proposals, the draft Bill has sought to curtail the powers of the state governments, going against the very essence of the Indian Constitution, said the committee.
The committee has appealed to the people of the State to resist the draft Bill in the greater interest of the country.