The central government on 10-12-2014 approved various amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003. Power sector engineers and employees from across the country were protesting against the ammendment for last 6-7 months. They held a protest in fron of Parliament on 08-12-2014 against proposed amendments in the Electricity Act, 2003 which was aimed at privatising power supply.
But, The amendments, as per the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014, will usher in much needed further reforms in the power sector, an official statement claimed after the Cabinet meeting .
"The amendments will also promote competition, efficiency in operations and improvement in quality of supply of electricity in the country resulting in capacity addition and ultimate benefit to the consumers," Govt. press release claimed. But employees associations said that competition was possible only in a situation of surplus, not scarcity of electricity, which the country was facing.
Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal recently said, "What we are looking at is allowing competition at last mile delivery so that consumers have a choice of supplier of electricity... it will also help states serve the people better."
Goyal had also said wherever there are existing power purchase agreements, the interests of stakeholders will be protected, which will be done in consultation with the power regulator.
The Minister said the government will allow competition at the last mile or to the end-consumer without raising tariff or compromising on better customer service.
The employees threatened to "resort to more stringent path of agitation" if the Government does not heed their demands, such as halting unbundling, privatising and franchising all power utilities in generation, transmission & distribution till a review of the energy policy is done, filling up vacant posts, ensuring equal wages pending regularisation of contract and casual workers, among others.