Put privatisation of Power Dept in UT on hold, says AIPEF

Put privatisation of Power Dept in UT on hold, says AIPEF

Photo for representation only.

Patiala, April 15

“Government must put on hold the privitisation of power distribution and stop entrusting the Electricity Departments of union territories to private enterprises,” said VK Gupta spokesperson, the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF).

In a statement here today, Gupta said, “Neither the draft amendment Bill 2021 nor the standard bidding document has been finalised, but Chandigarh and Dadra Nagar Haveli are fast moving towards privatisation of their respective Electricity Departments.”

“The standard bid documents (SBD) for privatising electricity distribution were uploaded on the Ministry’s website recently. Bids were invited from across the country. Now, the Ministry of Power has stated in the RTI reply that the SBDs have still not been finalised. This reply puts a question mark over the entire bidding process of the UTs privatisation process,” he added.

While in Chandigarh the bidding was for 100 per cent equity, in Dadra Nagar Haveli it was for 51 per cent, he said.

The AIPEF chief patron, Padamjit Singh, said in case of Dadra Nagar Haveli, bids were opened. A private firm had claimed to have won the bid with the highest offer of Rs555 lakh against a reserve price of Rs150 lakh,” he added.

“The Bombay High Court has stayed the further process in case of a PIL filed before it,” he said.

In case of Chandigarh, technical bids were opened on March 18, he added. Financial bids for the UT were yet to be opened, he said. “Here also the UT Powermen Union has challenged the bidding process before the Punjab Haryana High Court and its next date of hearing is April 29,” he said.

“The Union Ministry of Power has constituted a high-level steering committee headed by Secretary Power to guide and steer the privatisation of UTs electricity distribution,” said Gupta.

The draft amendment Bill 2021 was circulated among selected few in February, he said. The Union Power Minister held a discussion on proposals with all state power secretaries and CMDs of Discoms and regulators, he added. — TNS

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