Banerjee Opposes Electricity 2020 Bill Again
There are protests against the “anti-people” Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 in Parliament. It has been spearheaded by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who sent off a letter to the Centre urging the PM to refrain from proceeding with the legislation.
She urged for a ‘transparent dialogue’ before any decision was taken. Writing a letter to the PM, she said that she was writing to re-lodge a protest against the Union Government’s fresh move to place the bill in the parliament. Earlier last year, Ms. Banerjee had mentioned pitfalls in the bill and it had been stalled.
There was evident outrage on the bill and was termed by her government as an attempt by the Centre to “destroy the country’s federal structure.”
She claimed that the bill aims to make the entire state electricity grid an appendage of the National Grid. “I am stunned to hear that the Bill is coming back without any consideration for our reservations, and in fact with some graver anti-people features this time,” she added.
In April 2020, under the Ministry of Power, a Draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was released. It proposed amendments to the 2003 Act.
As per the Ministry, the Draft Bill seeks to address critical issues which have weakened commercial and investment activities in the electricity sector.
Amidst the protests against the farm bill, this was withdrawn and has come to the surface again. There were as many as 39 minor and major changes proposed in the new amendment bill.
Some of them include payment security mechanisms, renewable energy provisions, amongst other things.