Power engineers to boycott work over electricity amendment bill
Electricity ( amendment ) bill
Power sector engineers to boycott work
Monday July 20, 2015
Power engineers will boycott work on the day when the bill is presented in Parliament. This is in line with the decision of All India Power Engineers Federation and National co-ordination committee of electricity employees and engineers to go on one day strike.
V K Gupta Spokesperson of Federation said that the amendments in electricity bill are not been based upon ground realities but are meant only to watch the interest of private players and financially bankrupt the state sector Discoms. The amendments in electricity bill which seeks to segregate the power distribution network from electricity supply business is basically anti people and does not look at root cause of power sector ailments but only treat the symptoms of problems.
The electricity (amendment) bill Distribution and retail supply is the most critical link in the electricity market, which interfaces with the end customers and provides revenue for the entire value chain. By separating carriage and content in the power distribution sector, the electricity bill, in one stroke make all the power utilities in public sector totally unviable.
The Government is likely to move the Electricity (Amendment) Bill in the Parliament in next few days after the approval of cabinet. If bill is passed in Parliament the tariff would increase by the addition of supply licensees and the financially bankrupt Discoms would be left only to cater to subsidized consumers and people living below poverty line. It may be mentioned that service providers will use the already laid out distribution network of state Discoms without any investment or any responsibility to maintain the network.
The losses of state Discoms have already gigantic proportions and are threatening to derail the banking sector. The bank’s exposure to power sector .has already touched the Rs. 2 trillion figures today. But the financial rot in some state electricity boards has only worsened since banks restructured loans to these entities under the financial restructuring proposal in September 2012.Less than three years later, as the moratorium on principal repayments included in the restructuring packages, comes to an end, bankers are fearing defaults from most of the state electricity boards which accepted the restructuring plan.
The separation of distribution business content and carriage – involves significant costs and may be difficult to reverse. There are risks associated with it that need to be taken seriously. The issues of the ageing infrastructure of distribution network have been acknowledged for quite some time.