Centre must withdraw power reforms: KCR

"Please, for the sake of God, withdraw the power reforms that have been introduced by you. You're a tradesman of introducing and taking back laws. You made three wrong laws, against farmers, you took them back and apologised. So before the people raise their voices again, I request you to take back the power reforms you have introduced for the sake of our poor, SC/ST people," said KCR.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar RaoANI

HYDERABAD: Expressing concerns over the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022, that was introduced in the monsoon session in Parliament this year, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday said that if the Centre is planning to bring power reforms then it will be forced to withdraw the legislation just like farm laws that were withdrawn after a nationwide protest.

He further requested to take back the power reforms the government has introduced for the sake of the poor, Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) people.

"Please, for the sake of God, withdraw the power reforms that have been introduced by you. You're a tradesman of introducing and taking back laws. You made three wrong laws, against farmers, you took them back and apologised. So before the people raise their voices again, I request you to take back the power reforms you have introduced for the sake of our poor, SC/ST people," said KCR.

The contentious Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022 aimed at giving multiple players open access to distribution networks of power suppliers and also allowing consumers to choose any service provider was introduced in the Lok Sabha in the monsoon session of the Parliament, despite reservations raised by the states.

KCR had earlier also criticized the Centre alleging that the BJP-led central government intends to impose electricity bills on farmers who are being given free electricity in the state.

The Chief Minister said that he would "die but not do so".

"Before Telangana became a state, a lot of farmer issues persisted.

Farmers were dying by suicide. We are improving, giving farmers free electricity.

The centre is asking us to impose electricity bills, put meters. We would die but not install meters," he said.

Recalling Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's support to the farmers who sat on the national capital's borders protesting against the three farm laws (which are now withdrawn), KCR said that the AAP supremo is "lucky" to have got a chance to serve them (farmers).

Meanwhile, Union Power Minister RK Singh said defending the legislation said that once the Bill becomes a law, consumers will have an option to choose the power supply service providers "just like they have in the telecom sector".

"License Raj has to go so that investors can enter this sector. If no investment comes, then we are in darkness," he added.

The Power Minister also assured that there will be provisions in the new bill to fix costs for power distribution companies that would be protected.

"There would be a ceiling tariff to protect the interest of the consumers. The draft bill will have a provision where two or more distribution companies are registered to operate in the same area and the State Commission shall fix the ceiling tariff suo moto after calling for requisite information from the distribution companies," he said.

Several states have opposed the Bill demanding withdrawal of it.

The Kerala Assembly had also unanimously passed a resolution demanding the Centre to withdraw the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

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