Chennai: Terming Centre's proposed 'Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014,' as "skewed", Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday sought its withdrawal and urged that it be discussed with Chief Ministers.
"This Bill seeks to give unbridled access to private players to supply power to consumers and enable them to use the already laid out distribution network of the public sector power companies," Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said that in the absence of any investment in the distribution network or any responsibility to maintain it, "the proposed supply licensees would be able to access all the high value customers in commercially viable areas amounting to cherry picking without any social obligations."
"The state public sector power utilities would only be left with the obligation of power supply to subsidised categories of consumers," he said, adding, this will make them 'further financially sick.'
The draft amendments seek to bring 'significant changes' in the existing Electricity Act without taking state governments into confidence and getting their concurrence on these major changes in this Act, the Chief Minister said.
By separating carriage and content in the distribution sector, this Bill, 'in one stroke,' will make all power utilities in the public sector totally unviable, Panneerselvam said.
"Such a skewed amendment to the Act without proper consultation with the state governments at the appropriate level, and without considering the views of the State Governments is totally against the federal spirit of Indian Constitution and co-operative federalism which you have been espousing. I, therefore, request you to withdraw the Bill till a proper discussion and debate on the consequences of such amendments are considered by convening a meeting of Chief Ministers," Panneerselvam told Modi.