Chandigarh, August 8
The introduction of the Electricity Amendment Bill-2022 in Parliament today has drawn widespread criticism in Punjab with politicians, farmer unions and power engineers opposing it.
They said the Bill was aimed at usurping the powers of the state and feared that it would also abolish the cross-subsidy.
Attack on states’ constitutional rights: CM
The Bill is an attack on the constitutional rights of the states, as power is a subject in the concurrent list. Through such nefarious designs, the Centre is weakening the federal structure’s foundation. — Bhagwant Mann, CM
Warring seeks all-party meeting
- PCC chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring criticised the BJP-led Centre for introducing the Bill in Parlialment
- He urged the govt to chalk out a strategy against the passing of the Bill and assured full cooperation
- Raja Warring suggested an all-party meeting to put up a strong case against the Bill as it will have serious ramifications for Punjab
In a state where the power subsidy bill is over Rs 15,800 crore this fiscal and where the government has just started giving 300 units free to a majority of domestic consumers, the threat of abolishing the cross-subsidy has much wider political ramifications.
Though the Bill has been referred to a standing committee in Parliament, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said: “The move is an attack on the constitutional rights of the states, as power is a subject in the concurrent list.This is another attempt made by the Centre to undermine the authority of the states. The Centre should not consider the states as puppets.”
Mann further said the states would not sit silently against this attempt of the Centre to dilute the federal spirit of our democracy. “The states will fight from the road to Parliament to protect their rights.”
Meanwhile, various farmer unions in the state have been opposing the Bill ever since its inception in 2020. They feel that it will hit the cross-subsidy.
Rajinder Singh Deepsinghwala, vice-president of the Kirti Kisan Union, said during the talks of farmer unions with the Centre, over the three contentious farm laws that were withdrawn, the latter had assured us this Bill would not be introduced in Parliament without consultation with all stakeholders. “This is yet another betrayal by the Centre. If the distribution sector is privatised, the subsidies will end. The power subsidy to farmers is a financial support to keep them afloat. We will oppose this tooth and nail,” he added.
Reacting to this, Jasvir Singh Dhiman, president, PSEB Engineers’ Association, said the Bill should be introduced only after a proper consultation with all stakeholders. “The privatisation proposed in the distribution of power will hit the sector hard. The economically profitable sectors will be taken by private players and the loss-making zones will be left to the state power utilities. The already financially stretched utilities will have to undergo more losses,” he added.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
LS passes J-K reservation, nomination Bills; Shah says Bills will give justice to those deprived of rights for last 70 years
Bills were passed after more than six hours of debate spanni...
Among the 10 who put in their papers are nine Lok Sabha MPs,...
Resignation of Union ministers also revived speculation of r...
The withdrawal of statement by MP Senthil came when the Hous...
The Punjab DGP office had written a letter to Rajashthan Pol...