KOCHI:A two day conference of Ministers of States and Union Territories for Power, Renewable Energy and Mines to discuss a host of issues pertaining to the sector will be held on Friday and Saturday at Bolgatty here. Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal will inaugurate the conference.
The meeting is significant as it comes ahead of the winter session of the Parliament, where the proposed amendments of the Electricity Act will be taken up.
The agenda of the two day deliberations include preparation and implementation of state specific documents of ‘24x7 Power of All’, a programme for the electrification of remaining un-electrified villages in mission mode, expeditious implementation of Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Jyothi Yojana (DDUGJY), implementation of Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) and Green Energy Corridor. The outstanding dues of the State Electricity Boards, Discoms to power sector PSUs and Coal India Limited will also be a topic of discussion. In the thermal sector, discussions will be held on the support given by the state governments for thermal projects in: land acquisition, ensuing congenial law and order situation, coal swapping-methodology and benefits, coal linkage policy and third party sampling of coal. In the field of energy conservation, there will be review on the progress of implementation of Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP) and Street Light National Programme (SLNP).
Apart from State Ministers of Power, the Secretaries of Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Ministries and heads of Discoms and Central Public Sector undertakings of Power sector will also participate in the conference.
NCCOEEE’s View point
■ The reforms in the power sector since liberalisation have put a heavy burden on the distribution companies
■ In the past 12 years, the losses accrued by power companies have crossed Rs 2,60,000 crores
■ Their debt has gone above Rs 3.5 lakh crores
■ Government did not consult the trade unions in the sector while formulating the amendments
■ Even the parliamentary standing committee on power sector reforms did not take unions into confidence
■ Besides, 18 states, including Kerala and Gujarat had expressed strong reservations on the amendments
What is Electricity Act, 2003?
The Electricity Act, 2003 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to transform the power sector in India.
The act covers major issues involving generation, distribution, transmission and trading in power. The Act delicenses power generation completely. The Act delicenses distribution in rural areas and brings in a licensing regime for distribution in urban areas
The amendments proposed during 2015 is to make major changes. The important provision is to introduce electricity supply companies who will not own electric lines.
What detractors Say
It will weaken the public sector discoms and can damage power sector industry in the country