Pawar opposes Electricity Amendment Bill, says its implementation will hit consumers

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Nashik: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Friday strongly opposed the recently introduced Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022, in Parliament and asserted its implementation will end subsidy offered to power consumers, adversely affect government-run energy companies and also cause job losses.

The Rajya Sabha MP said the Opposition will not allow passage of the Bill in Parliament in its existing form and continue to resist its provisions.

Speaking at an event here, Pawar said the Opposition has clearly conveyed to the Union government that it will not allow the Bill to be passed in its present form.

“Some days ago, a Bill for amendment to the Electricity Act, 2003, was introduced in Parliament. We oppose it because its implementation will stop power subsidy, shut down government-run energy companies and cause job losses,” said the former Union minister.

It may get passed in the Lok Sabha because of the majority enjoyed by the Narendra Modi government, but it will not get cleared in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling dispensation lacks the required numbers, Pawar said.

Privatisation of public undertakings in the power sector is also under consideration of the government, he claimed.

“The Bill is before a parliamentary committee. Our stand is we will not allow this law to be passed in its current form,” the NCP leader added.

Pawar was speaking at a convention of the Maharashtra State Electricity Workers’ Federation.

The veteran politician said 40,000-42,000 existing vacancies in various state-run power firms should be filled and priority must be given to those working on these posts on contract.

“These posts should be filled up immediately. Preference should be given to employees working in these companies on contract. In states like Telangana, Punjab and Tamil Nadu contract workers have been absorbed in regular service and this should be done in Maharashtra also,” Pawar added.

“India is an agriculture-dominated economy. Earlier, 35 per cent people were doing farming, now more than 56 per cent people are involved in farming. There is burden on agriculture and new research is needed to improve the situation,” said the former Union agriculture minister.

Speaking at the convention, former Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal said government-run companies in the state should not be privatized.

All workers, employees, farmers and common people should come together to fight against privatization of state-run firms, said the NCP leader.

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( With inputs from )

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