Cong MP Manish Tewari Dubs Electricity (Amendment) Bill as Nationalisation of Losses

Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy RK Singh -SakshiPost

New Delhi: Amid vociferous opposition, the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday. The Bill aims to facilitate the entry of private companies in the electricity distribution, similar to telcom services. 

As Power Minister RK Singh moved the contentious Bill for introduction in the Lower House, RSP member NK Premachandran, Congress members Manish Tewari and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, CPI(M)’s MA Arif, Trinamool member Saugata Roy and DMK leader TR Baalu raised objections and said the draft legislation was against the federal structure of the Constitution.

Opposition members demanded a division of motion moved by the minister to introduce the Bill. However, the demand was rejected by the Speaker. The opposition raised slogans for a while and later staged a walkout from Lok Sabha. 

“You can seek division only from your respective seats and not from the Well,’' the Speaker said.

Congress MP Manish Tewari said the Bill will allow multiple private companies to provide electricity in the same area. This provision could lead to “privatisation of profits and nationalisation of losses”.

“This amendment substantially weakens the power of the state to achieve this objective by providing for multiple privately owned distribution companies,” Tewari said. 

DMK leader TR Baalu said the proposed Bill will affect the poor farmers of Tamil Nadu who are receiving free electricity for the past several years. 

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Accusing the Opposition members of indulging in “false propaganda”, the Power Minister said the Bill will not impact subsidies and farmers will continue to get free electricity. He added that the government intends to refer it to a Parliamentary Standing Committee where all concerns can be discussed. 

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