All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has alleged covert privatisation of the power distribution companies (discoms) in different states under the garb of their financial restructuring plan (FRP) by the Centre. Eight states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan and Bihar have signed a bailout package with the Centre that mandates involvement of private companies in their restructuring.
The debt to be restructured in UP is Rs 29,534 crore, Rajasthan Rs 39,710 crore, TN Rs 17,146 crore and Haryana Rs 15,718 crore.
The AIPEF meeting in New Delhi recently discussed various issues in the power sector, including financial restructuring of discoms and mandatory condition of franchisee/privatisation of distribution.
Federation Secretary General Shailendra Dubey said even after "total failure" of privatisation experiment in Delhi and Odisha, the Centre was "pressurising and twisting arms of the states" in the name of financial support.
AIPEF would continue to oppose such FRP, he said while urging all the state constituents along with employees of power sector to unite for halting "the privatization process."
The mandatory condition for bailout package stresses the involvement of private sector in urban distribution through franchisee arrangement or any other mode of private participation to be prepared within a year by discoms and get Central Electricity Authority (CEA) approval.
Further, Dubey mentioned that UP had resolved to handover renovation, modernisation, up-gradation, strengthening, operation and maintenance of distribution and sub-transmission system of select cities namely Ghaziabad, Meerut, Kanpur and Varanasi through public private partnership (PPP) model.
The UP government had invited tenders for appointment of consultant. He claimed all these cities had lower losses compared to average Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses of UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL).
Source- Business Standard