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Home News Power Sector News Pressure from Planning Commission - PSEB may be unbundled soon

Pressure from Planning Commission - PSEB may be unbundled soon

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PSEBPunjab government may not be able to delay the unbundling of Punjab State Electricity Board in view of Planning Commissions emphasis to complete the reform process in power sector. Planning Commission after its review of power sector has asked the Government of India to expedite the unbundling of state electricity board to complete the reform process in power sector. The state where unbundling of state electricity boards has not been fully completed includes Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand Kerala and Himachal.

Kerala and Himachal have already started the reform process of their state electricity boards. Kerala is planning to convert the board in to a single Government company. Himachal has set in motion for the unbundling of HPSEB. Punjab is not yet thinking on lines of unbundling of PSEB in view of strong opposition by employees and farmers unions.

Punjab got its 12th extension of three months in last December and present deadline expires on March 15. It may be mentioned that Punjab CM had pleaded to Union Power Minister in December that it will be a last extension and Punjab government will unbundled PSEB into separate legal entities as per provisions of Electricity Act 2003.

Punjab government is already started the process of withdrawing free power to agriculture sector and reduces the quantum of free power to SC/ST and BPL families. This seems to be the first step towards unbundling of PSEB. The two member committee appointed by state government has already submitted its report. This report is to be discussed by the cabinet in its next meeting.

Planning Commission has asked the power utilities that free power to farmers should be metered and the state government should provide upfront subsidies for this purpose.

Source- Punjabnewsline

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