HYDERABAD: B.Vinod Kumar, vice-chairman of the Telangana Planning Board, vowed that his party will forge a consensus among all political parties against the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022, which the BJP government introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament.
“The Bill will have serious ramifications in the long run and have a negative impact on all sections, including electricity employees,” he remarked. In an exclusive interview with Deccan Chronicle, Vinod Kumar covered several facets of the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022.
Q. What is the direct impact of the BJP government's Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022 on all the stakeholders?
The central government attempted to introduce the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2021, under the guise of the financial viability of electricity distribution companies (Discoms). The central government on Monday introduced the Bill in Parliament after making certain changes. The Bill's primary objective is to bring corporates and private companies into the power sector. Private operators will profit by attracting affluent customers, leaving the underprivileged and marginalised communities without access to power.
Q. How will the Telangana government’s free power initiatives be impacted?
The Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022, will demonstrate how it affects free power, free supply below 100 units, and other schemes. At the moment, the central government is mandating that smart metres be installed in the farm sector at the transformer level. The programme might be expanded to SC colonies, where residents receive free electricity for houses with less than 100 units of use, and their power usage would be evaluated for financial burden.
Q. Electricity employees vociferously opposed Amendment Bill 2022. How would it affect them?
As soon as private Discoms enter into the power sector, the number of electricity employees will reduce. The electricity employees won’t be wellpaid in the private sector. After learning about the detrimental implications of the Electricity Amendment Bill, electricity employees around the nation launched agitations. We will extend our solidarity with the agitating electricity employees.
Q. If the TRS government views itself as a model state in electricity supply, why not show a path for other states?
The BJP government is trying to bring a completely different model of electricity supply with its Electricity Amendment Bill. Under the pretext of preserving the financial viability of Discoms, the Bill will allow private operators to overlook the poor and marginalised people. On the other hand, the Telangana government is coordinating with the Discoms in power supply to protect the interests of people.
Q. What role will the TRS government play against the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022?
We’ll educate the people about the negative implications of the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022. We will try to unite the political forces and bring consensus against the Central government’s decisions in the power sector. The Electricity Amendment Bill is antifarmer and anti-people and will only serve the interests of corporate firms. We will intensify our protests opposing the Bill and bring awareness among the people....