Kejriwal writes to BJP CMs over Electricity Act amendments

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written a letter to all Chief Ministers of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states regarding the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003 and asked them to talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter.

In the letter, Kejriwal said, “I am aware that you all are from BJP/NDA and it would be difficult to you to speak against the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003. I request you all to meet the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) personally and tell him that the amendments would make electricity unaffordable for the poor as well as the middle class. The people will face consequences.”

The letter has been sent to Chief Ministers including Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh), Sarbananda Sonowal (Assam), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Manohar Parrikar (Goa), Vijay Rupani (Gujarat), Manohar Lal (Haryana), Jairam Thakur (Himachal Pradesh), Raghubar Das (Jharkhand), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Devendra Fadnavis (Maharashtra), Biren Singh (Manipur), Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan), Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Trivendra Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand), Biplab Deb (Tripura), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Neiphiu Rio (Nagaland) and Conrad Sangma (Meghalaya).

He further said that if these amendments are passed in the winter session of Parliament, then, all the authorities of the power sector will be vested in the Centre and the state governments will not be able to make any decisions.

“The Central Government wants to end cross-subsidy. Presently, almost every state government takes more electricity rates on the industrial and commercial use and by that money, they provide free electricity or at less rate to farmers,” he added.

Stating that the amendment will adversely affect the common people, Kejriwal said, “If the amendments proposed by the central government have passed, then, the electricity rate of industrial, commercial, domestic and farming would become same. Farmers and domestic consumers will suffer,” he added.

The Delhi Chief Minister further stated that the Centre is also planning to introduce speculators in the power sector, which “will make electricity even more expensive.”
Yesterday, Kejriwal wrote to Chief Ministers of non-BJP ruled states raising concern over the proposed amendment.
He will also be travelling to different states from next week to meet respective Chief Ministers and convince them to stand together to stall the bill in the Rajya Sabha so that it is not passed before the 2019 general elections.

“I will be meeting Chief Ministers like Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), N Chandra Babu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh), Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala), HD Kumaraswamy (Karnataka) and several others for a consensus against the proposed amendments to the electricity act. Will request them to vote against the amendments in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.

If the Centre passes the amendments, power tariff in Delhi will become Rs. 7.50 per unit for all consumers irrespective of the categories they fall in. Presently, residents of Delhi who use up to 200 units are charged Rs.1 per unit, while those using up to 400 units are charged Rs. 2.50 per unit.