Power engineers demand review of power sector policies of last 25 years

All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) today demanded the Centre to review all power sector policies introduced over the last 25 years.

AIPEF chairman Shailendra Dubey said power sector policies should be first reviewed before proceeding with any amendments or fresh initiatives in the country's ailing power sector.

He mentioned it was well established that the power distribution companies (discoms) were in poor financial health with accumulated debt and losses over the years despite successive policies.

Meanwhile, AIPEF has welcomed the decision of the central government to modify the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014. It has urged the Centre to put on hold the proposed Bill until the modified draft was discussed with all the state governments and other stakeholders including power engineers and employees.

He welcomed the statement of union power minister Piyush Goyal that the modified draft was being sent to the state governments for their comments.

AIPEF has demanded without detailed discussion with the power engineers and employees, the Centre should refrain from introducing the Bill in Parliament.

Dubey observed although Electricity Act 2003 was enacted for restoring the financial health of the domestic power sector, it had failed to achieve its objective and instead resulted in massive losses and debt on discoms.

Without analysing the causes and circumstances of failure to achieve its objective, the Centre had now undertaken an exercise to introduce more amendments, which would only deteriorate the already precarious financial health of discoms, he warned.

The Centre has introduced Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY) for making the state governments own the responsibility of improving the discoms' financial condition and takeover their outstanding debt in a phased and time bound manner.

AIPEF reiterated under such circumstances, introducing the concept of supply licensee to isolate carriage and content, would lead to exodus of high paying and profitable consumers to private licensees, while putting extra burden on the state owned supply licensee.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel