Distributive policy

Electricity Bill (2022) Amendment Bill: Why this reform is essential

India is the third largest electricity producer in the world, just behind China and the United States. And as predicted by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the country’s electricity demand is expected to increase by 6.5% between 2022 and 2024. Although, statistically, India has a surplus of energy, it is faced with problems of transmission and distribution of the energy produced.

In an attempt to reform the sector, the Electricity Amendment Bill (2022) was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 8. But due to strong opposition protests, the bill is now referred to the standing committee.

Read also : ‘Powerless’; 1 in 3 schools and 1 in 4 health centers in India have no electricity

The bill allows open access to the distribution infrastructure to all nightclubs (distribution companies) in an area. Previously, discos were only allowed to use their own distribution network. With the new bill, several producers can supply electricity via the same network subject to the payment of certain charges. The bill will increase competition in the sector and allow consumers to choose among several suppliers. But the opposition is skeptical of the new bill. They claim that private players will only use the state distribution network to supply industrial and commercial centers, marginalizing other consumers.

The review is valid. If private producers take over profitable areas, public companies will be forced to supply universal electricity. This will worsen the conditions of public companies, which are already in debt.

Moreover, farmers in Punjab fear that privatization of the sector will kill the subsidies they enjoy. Although the central government has said states will not be restricted in providing grants, nervousness over the bill prevails.

The outcome

Compared to India, China and the United States consume respectively 4 and 10 times more electricity per person. Due to poor transmission infrastructure, Indian consumers pay 3-4 times. We cannot ignore the loss of 16 billion dollars each year due to electricity theft. Moreover, the sector is highly dependent on the supply of coal. Only 39% of the total electricity produced comes from renewable sources. Coal supplies are unreliable. All these points are important on which India must work.

Energy security is crucial for any country, especially for a rapidly developing country like India. Besides being self-sufficient, India has enormous energy export potential. The world is looking at India with hope as it rolls out ambitious projects like “One Sun, One World, One Grid”. Only the actions taken by the nation over the next 20 years will determine whether the country lives up to the expectations of the world.

Summary

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Electricity Bill (2022) Amendment Bill: Why this reform is essential

The description

In an attempt to reform the sector, the Electricity Amendment Bill (2022) was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 8. But due to strong opposition protests, the bill is now referred to the standing committee.

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TPT Press Office

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POLITICAL TIMES

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