Proposed Electricity Amendment Bill not in interests of Farmers, poor : Bhupesh Baghel

Raipur: During this pandemic, when the states are in a difficult situation due to lockdown and economic crunch. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has yearned the Central government to put a hold on the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020. He showed his resentment with the bill and said “it’s not in favor of farmers,poor.”

In his letter to R.K Singh, Minister of State for power, Baghel claimed the proposed bill to be harmful and impractical. He also mentioned it to not be in the favor of laborers and farmers, who have worked hard in making the country self-reliant in food. 

“The farmers will face a crisis regarding irrigation of crops if the subsidy on electricity given to farmers is not continued and this will affect the production of food grains and the country will face a food-crisis. Therefore, the present provision of giving electricity subsidy to the people and farmers of the poor section of the society is tested and is appropriate to the needs of the hour.” said the Chief Minister of the Congress-ruled state. 

Baghel is immensely in favor of the currently enforced Direct Benefit Transfer System and stands it as correct. He has also urged other state governments to consult and keep in mind the needs of the small and poor farmers. 

“If a farmer consumes one thousand units of electricity during the framing season, then he will have to pay a bill of rupees seven to eight thousand which seems appropriate for the upper class people and consultants who sit in air-conditioned for the marginal farmers.” said Bhupesh Baghel.

He further stated that the implementation of this bill will only create additional problems to the country in this already difficult time. Farmers will face a crisis if the subsidy on electricity given to them for irrigation is not continued and thereby, it will affect the production of food grains.

The proposed bill will usurp rights of state governments, as a provision has been made under it to bring the rights of appointment to the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions under the purview of the Centre which is contrary to the system of federal structure.

“The reduction of the rights of the State Governments and the appointment of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission under the union government through this amendment is contrary to the system of federal structure. The bill provides only advice to states regarding the formation of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, the consent of the state is not necessary in relation to the appointment. This provision is a clear violation of the powers of the State Government.” says the CM.

Describing the power distribution system as the lifeline of the general public, the Chief Minister said that “it will not be appropriate in any case to entrust it to private companies. This amendment bill promotes capitalism and allows private companies to take possession of the Electricity Board.”

The Chief Minister has said that this amendment bill proposes the formation of a Centralized Electrical Contract Enforcement Authority (ECEA).

“The proposed amendment also empowers the central government to preserve renewable and hydroelectric procurement obligations.Different states of the country have different resources and in view of this, it will not be appropriate to implement it for the whole country”, he said.

—– CHAHAT GANDHI

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