New Delhi: The Power Ministry has sought comments on a revised draft of the Electricity Amendment Bill which seeks to separate carriage and content businesses to enable consumers to switch their power suppliers as they do for telecom services.
The feedback on the revised Electricity Amendment Bill 2018 has been sought within 45 days. The draft has been circulated among all related government agencies, departments, regulators, PSUs and industry bodies.
According to the draft circulated online, the Electricity Amendment Bill 2014 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 19, 2014 and subsequently referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy. The panel gave its report in September, 2015. The revised bill is now circulated on the basis of recommendations of the panel and consultations.
The bill provides for more than one service operator to supply power to a consumer in one distribution area. This will give consumers an option of changing their power supplying company or utility based on the efficiency of their services.
The bill also provides for ‘Smart Grid’, which it says is an electricity network that uses information and communication technology to gather information and act intelligently in automated manner to improve the efficiency, reliability, economics, and sustainability of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.
It also provides for medium term power purchase agreement. It says that ‘medium term’ means the duration of power purchase which shall be as notified by the Central government.
This will allow stressed power projects to go for medium term power purchase agreements and run their plants. The bill also provides for renewable purchase obligation under which the ‘polluter pays’ principle applies. Under this, the renewable power purchased would be used to meeting the RPO requirement.
It has also made a case for round-the-clock power as envisaged by the government from April 1, 2019. The bill also provides to stricter penalties for non-compliance, theft and other offences. In some cases, penalty has been raised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore.