City Correspondent

GUWAHATI, Feb 16: The Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees Engineers and Pensioners (CCOEEEP) has demanded that the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 be put in the public domain before a discussion is initiated on it.

The draft bill is not available in the Power Ministry website, CCOEEEP joint convenor Dipak Kr Saha said in a statement.

According to the statement, the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 is included in the list of 20 new bills to be placed in the current Budget Session of Parliament.

The Union Power Minister is scheduled to hold a video conference on February 17 with power secretaries of the states and CMOs of the discoms to discuss the proposed amendments in the Electricity Act 2003, it said.

CCOEEEP along with electricity employees and consumers across the country will go for a nationwide strike against the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

CCOEEEP said the government is trying for a short-cut and to rush through amendments without due consideration or deliberation. The present approach of the Ministry of Power is non-transparent and secretive, and it seems the government is trying to hide critical facts, it said.

There have been reports that the Power Ministry has circulated the Electricity (Amendment) Bill proposing amendments to the Electricity Act 2003. The proposed amendments entail de-licensing of the distribution business, it added. The committee demanded that the bill be placed in the public domain and all stakeholders including consumers and employees be given due opportunity to submit their comments on the bill.

It also reiterated that the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 is unauthenticated and deserves to be discarded, particularly as it is tantamount to introducing a drastic policy of separating carriage and content which was earlier rejected by as many as 20 states.

CCOEEEP further said that all the stakeholders including associations/unions of employees and engineers, consumers and others must be given sufficient time to present their view points as state governments are not the only stakeholders.