New Delhi is the capital of India. On the one hand, the government plans to introduce the new Electricity Amendment Bill 2021 in Parliament, while on the other, demonstrators across the country are calling for it to be withdrawn. It has been labeled anti-people by all protesting organizations. But do you know what’s in this new electrical amendment law, which has sparked such strong opposition? We will provide you with complete information about it in this article.
This law will be introduced by the central government during the winter session. The most important aspect of this bill is that the government will not provide any subsidies to power providers. This means that power companies will now bill their customers for the entire cost of electricity. The government will give you a subsidy based on how much electricity you have used up to this point. This subsidy is made available to electricity companies directly in exchange for them issuing your bill at the post-subsidy rate.
According to the new measure, the government will not provide subsidies to businesses; instead, funds would be delivered directly to customers’ bank accounts. It’s the same as cooking gas. The full cost of the cylinder is charged to your credit card, and then the government subsidy is deposited into your bank account.
How will it affect consumers?
Since the power providers are now taking back the entire quantity of electricity you paid for, you will undoubtedly face additional costs. Of course, the government will reimburse you later as a subsidy. However, it is unknown which clients will be eligible for the subsidy and which will not. Will there be slabs built for this, or will something else be used?
Electricity firms will be able to charge bills to customers based on the cost under the new law. According to one estimate, electricity producing companies’ costs are currently Rs 0.47 per unit higher than the amount issued to customers, which is offset by the businesses’ subsidy. So now the people will bear this additional burden, because it is unclear how and who will receive the subsidy.
And what is in this bill
De-licensing of power distribution will be suggested by this law. The benefit of this would be that private electricity distribution companies would be able to compete with government-owned utilities. Aside from that, electricity customers will have the option of choosing which of the power distribution firms they want to use. In the recent Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the government is working on establishing such a structure. These revisions have previously been opposed by Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.
What are the names of the protesting groups?
It has been labelled anti-people by the Committee of Members of the Socialist Unity Center of India (Communist) in the Mysore region of Karnataka. According to the committee, “cross subsidy” is a reason used by the government to stop the subsidy. The committee has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to sign the measure into law. In addition, the committee has demanded that no restrictions on the production and use of non-conventional energy be imposed on ordinary consumers. Aside from that, the group opposes the installation of prepayment meters.
Apart from that, the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has called it an anti-poor and anti-public bill, stating that on the day it is introduced in Parliament, 15 lakh AIPEF employees will protest.
What is the government’s motivation for introducing this bill?
Many power distribution firms are currently losing money. Companies owe Discoms 95 thousand crores. The delay in securing subsidies to discoms has put distribution companies in jeopardy. In such a situation, the government is enacting this bill to assist businesses in overcoming their difficulties.
The new bill has a lot of screws in it.
The new bill has a lot of flaws, such as who will receive the electricity bill subsidies. For example, if the power bill is in the name of the landlord, landowner, or business owner, they are eligible for the subsidy; but, what happens if the bill is in the name of the tenant? Apart from that, a major issue is that energy is delivered sans metre in many communities across the country; how can the government recover?