This high time to review without any bias whether the reforms in power sector are progressing in right direction or not. After unbundling of most of the state electricity boards of country power shortages, outages, load shedding, poor quality power supply and soaring transmission and distribution losses continue to haunt the power sector.
Most of power utilities across the country are facing survival crisis due to huge debts. The power utilities were not given clean slate after unbundling of state electricity boards. The utilities are living on borrowed money to run the show. Even now banks have refused to extend loan to some of these utilities.
Padamjit Singh Chairman AIPEF said that a number of states like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have adopted MOU route to allow setting up of new thermal projects. The setting up of projects without bidding process will escalate the generation cost. This increase in generation cost will increase tariff and common consumers shall be the sufferer. U P and Punjab have allowed private parties to set up new thermal projects with capacity of more than 20000MW and 5000 MW respectively. This is the corporate corruption and federation opposes MOU route. Even Government of India has filed an appeal before the Supreme Court in favour of the competitive bidding process as opposed to MOU route.
The backdoor entry of private companies in industrial cities and urban areas of country by way of franchisee is a major cause of concern for AIPEF. The franchisee system has shown negative results where ever it has been introduced in states. Whether it is Agra in Uttar Pradesh or Aurangabad and Nagpur in Maharashtra the results are same and power utilities have become sufferer. The revenue being earned by franchisee is not being passed on to utilities on one ploy or other. The major revenue earning areas of utilities have proposed by state governments to be handed over to franchisees.
The franchisees get cheaper power and all facilities and in return they sell power to consumers at higher rates. Thus privates companies are earning handsome gains and utilities are going to be bankrupt. The main reason for adoption of franchisee system is corporate corruption. AIPEF strongly opposes this type of corporate corruption.
AIPEF would launch a major campaign for public awareness and mobilisation in the country against the pro privatisation policies of Government.
The KSEB Engineers Association is of the view that the Electricity Act 2003 would help rejuvenate the board.
PSEB Engineers Association Supported PSEB Unbundling
Source- Punjab Newsline