Electricity Amendment Bill 2021: Another Nail on the Coffin of Federalism – SDPI
“The proposed Electricity amendment bill 2021 is totally anti-people and part of selling the country to the capital cronies of the ruling party,” stated KH Abdul Majeed, National General Secretary of Social Democratic Party of India. “Electricity comes under the Concurrent List of the Constitution, and so any amendment of it without proper consultation and involvement of the states is an assault on the constitutional right of states. The proposed bill is another nail on the coffin of federalism,” said Majeed. The NDA government in its second term has been keenly engaged in rewriting the laws of the country and bringing in new laws and policies that are in line with the RSS ideology and in favour of its cronies. Public Sector Undertakings have been sold out one by one to the corporate crony giants. Farmer Laws were amended to the detriment of the farmers and benefit of the monopolies. Labour Laws were amended to help the industrial giants and to deny even the basic rights of the labourers. The proposed Electricity Amendment Bill is also a step that would help the corporate giants to enter the electricity distribution sector. All these amendments and introduction of new laws were done without consulting the states or other stake-holders, which is absolutely autocratic and against the federal nature of the country. The amendment proposes to de-license power distribution which in most of the states at present is controlled by the state-owned distribution companies. This amendment will facilitate entry of private players into the distribution sector which would further debilitate the state-owned distributors already struggling with loss and debt. The profiteering private companies would give priority to the commercial and industrial consumers, and the domestic consumers will be left with no choice other than to go for the service of the state-owned distributors. The cross subsidy through which the domestic consumers enjoy electricity at lower rates will end, and they will also have to pay the same rates paid by the commercial and industrial consumers, which will be decided by the new private players. Electricity Amendment Bill is detrimental to the people and so SDPI strongly opposes the amendments and demands the union government to abstain from introducing the contentious bill, said Abdul Majeed.