Hyderabad: The Telangana Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution urging the Union of India to withdraw the draft Electricity Amendment Bill 2020, which aims to end subsidies and cross-subsidies in power tariffs.
Moving the resolution in the House, chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao termed the Bill as draconian and against the federal spirit envisaged by the
He said the Centre’s move to amend the Electricity Act of 2003 was against the interests of farmers and would snatch away the autonomy enjoyed by state governments over the power sector.
“If there is a power problem here in Hyderabad, I would have to call the load dispatch centre in Delhi rather than calling the state load dispatch centre,” Chandrashekar Rao said.
“It appears that the Centre is bringing the new Bill to benefit private players in the power sector. Earlier when we sought some power projects for Telangana, the Centre had put pressure on us to give the projects to private companies. But we did not yield to the pressure.”
The chief minister added, “I assure the people of Telangana that as long as the TRS is in power we will not allow any private company to enter power generation and we will not give permission to private players to produce a single megawatt of power in the state.”
Stating that the Bill mandates the government to fix consumption guages to agriculture pump sets in the state, he said currently there were about 26 lakh agriculture pump sets in the state. It would require over Rs 750 lakh to install meters for every pump set.
Chandrashekar Rao pointed out that the Bill also obligates the state government to collect power charges from farmers but the TRS government would never burden the farmers of Telangana who are recovering from decades of neglect and severe power shortage.
The chief minister said the Bill also takes away the powers of the state government to constitute an Electricity Regulatory Commission.
The chief minister said, “The Centre has sent us a draft and I discussed the provisions of the bill and wrote a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to withdraw the proposal. As I understand the Centre is going ahead with the introduction of the Bill in the present session.”