• Bill to amend Electricity Act put on back burner

    The Centre has put the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act on the back burner, opting instead to work with state governments on measures to open up the power market and unlock latent demand through regulatory reforms.

    “Do you see any work (reforms) suffer or stall (in the absence of the amendments)? Our initiatives are progressing well even without the (proposed) amendments to the Act. We are working with states on taking things forward,“ power minister Piyush Goyal said in reply to a question whether the amendment bill would be re-introduced in the next session of Parliament.

    The amendments seek to segregate the distribution (carriage) and supply (content) businesses. This is expected to bring competition by having multiple distribu tion licences in an area, giving consumers freedom to choose their supplier.

    The amendment bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 19, 2014. It was referred to the parliamentary standing committee on energy. The panel submitted its report on May 7, 2015. The refreshed amendment bill, incorporating the committee’s recommendations, will have to be cleared by the Cabinet before it can be re-introduced.

    The Centre’s unwillingness to move the bill at this juncture is understandable when most generation units are running at only around 60% due to subdued demand. Torry Holt Womens Jersey

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