HYDERABAD: The Telangana State Legislative Assembly on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution urging the central government to withdraw the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill as it is detrimental to the interests of farmers and the poor.
Moving the resolution in the House, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao termed the Centre’s Electricity Amendment Bill as ‘draconian’, saying it would usurp the rights of the states. The Bill was against the federal spirit of the Constitution, Rao said.
Rao declared that TRS MPs would oppose the Bill in both Houses of the Parliament.
Once the Bill was adopted, the state government would have to fix the meters to 26 lakh agriculture pump sets in the state. “After the formation of the state, the farmers are now enjoying some benefits due to the construction of irrigation projects and due to good rains. Fixing meters to agriculture motors will not help farmers. Besides, the state government required a whopping Rs 750 crore for purchasing the meters,” Rao said.
The Chief Minister said that even industrialists would be given open access to purchase power, which would push the discoms into losses, as there would be no cross subsidy in the power sector.
The central government would even appoint the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions. The Load Dispatch Centre too would be managed by the Centre once the Bill was adopted. These kind of provisions in the Bill were nothing but taking away the rights of the states, he said.
“The Bill is against the federal spirit, useless for the people and a setback to farmers,” Rao said. He added that the privatisation of the power sector proposed in the Bill would pose a threat to the very existence of discoms, gencos and transcos and was also detrimental to lakhs of power sector employees in the country.
The Chief Minster recently wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the latter to withdraw the Electricity Bill.