RK Singh on Mamata, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld


New Delhi: Energy and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh denounced West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying she was protecting a private monopoly by opposing proposed amendments to the Law on electricity that aim to downgrade the distribution of electricity.

Singh indicated that despite opposition from some non-NDA states, the Center is not likely to reverse proposed changes that offer more powers to regulators and the national burden-sharing center and increase the penalties in the event of non-compliance with the obligations to purchase renewable energy.

“Why it protects the monopoly is unclear to me, especially a private company in Kolkata that charges one of the highest tariffs in the country,” Singh told reporters here.

Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urging him to refrain from tabling the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 in parliament, saying it would give the private sector freedom of movement to attract consumers top of the line.

“We are not touching existing businesses. We say you can continue the functions normally. We say you cannot continue as a monopoly. Delhi is a monopoly and Kolkata is a private monopoly by the way, with one of the highest tariffs in the country, ”Singh said when asked about Banerjee’s claims.

Banerjee also alleged that no “real” consultation had been organized by the Center on the bill that removes the powers of state electricity regulatory commissions.

“We had circulated the bill among stakeholders and held regional communications with all state governments. West Bengal was also represented at these meetings. I am surprised that she was not informed by the officers, ”Singh said. Proposed amendment to the Electricity Act awaits Cabinet approval before being tabled in Parliament

He added, “The Raj license has to go, so that investors can come into this industry. If no investment comes, then we are in the dark. “

He also assured that the fixed cost for electricity distribution companies would be protected, and said there would be a tariff cap to protect the interests of consumers.

Several states not governed by the BJP have expressed concerns about the bill on various platforms. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said on Sunday that the Centre’s electricity (amendment) bill was not in the country’s interest and states had not been consulted on its provisions. The Kerala Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution urging the Center to withdraw the bill amending the Electricity Bill, saying it will allow free entry for the private sector.

Meanwhile, the National Coordinating Committee of Electrical Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) announced on Monday that it had decided to withdraw the call for a labor boycott on August 10 launched by engineers and employees in the electricity sector. electricity, as the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 has not yet been approved. by cabinet and is not likely to be placed in the current monsoon session of Parliament.

All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) spokesperson VK Gupta said all 11 non-BJP states and two Union Territories opposed the Electricity (Amendment) Bill.


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