The proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 clearly "violates" the constitutional mandate and "undermines" its federal structure, said Dr Nitin Raut, Maharashtra Energy Minister on Friday while demanding that the Centre should take states into confidence before making amendments.
Raut was present during a video conference held by Union Power Minister RK Singh with Energy Ministers of states and union territories.
During the conference, Raut pointed out that due to COVID-19, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) had suffered huge financial losses and requested the grant of Rs 10,000 crore to bail out the company from the financial crisis. He also requested low-interest rates for loans.
Opposing the proposed amendment, the minister asked the "Centre to discuss with states as it violated the federal structure and seriously affected the states."
He pointed out that during the lockdown period, "the Central government was privatising the public sector units and would privatise the power sector by giving backdoor entries to private sector by making amendments in the Electricity Act 2003".
According to the Energy Minister's office, Raut demanded release of grants for PMO Kusum Solar Agriculture Pumps Yojana under which the state government would provide 1 lakh pumps per year to the farmers. The state government will provide total 5 lakh pumps in the next 5 years. (ANI)