Don’t slash free power supplied for agriculture sector – CM request Centre

Tamil Nadu Edappadi K.Palaniswami in his letter to the Union Power Minister R.K.Singh expressed that the free power supplied to Agriculture sector should not be brought under Direct Benefit Scheme.

R.K.Singh and Chief Minister both met at the Chennai Secretariat on Wednesday where the CM presented the letter bearing several requests from the TN Government in connection with some of the provisions mentioned in the draft of Electricity Amendment Bill 2020, which the State Government finds detrimental.

In the letter the CM was reported to have said “Provisions in the draft Amendment Bill to allow private franchisee/sub-licencee will only lead to cherry-picking of remunerative areas by the franchisee/sub-distribution licencee, affecting the DISCOMs directly and thereby the public interest. The state discoms (Distribution Company) will be left with serving social sector obligations and rural areas which will result in massive losses to the discoms”

Mr.Palaniswami had said it is unacceptable to fix hydroelectricity purchase obligation separately to a State like Tamil Nadu as it is seasonal and monsoon-dependent which is not in the control of power distribution company.

“To avoid disparity among the States with different sources of renewable energy available, it is suggested that Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) can be fixed for total renewable energy rather than independently fixing for solar, non-solar, hydro etc,” the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister wrote to Singh.

The Ministry of Power said that the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 is brought in to address critical issues weakening the commercial and investment activities of the electricity sector. Many State Governments have opposed this Bill as it provides option for private franchisees to enter power sector which will disturb the power distribution companies of the Govts and affect the public interest too.