The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy is likely to convene its first meeting to discuss the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 this month.
The proposed legislation was referred to the panel soon after it was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 8.
The Parliamentary panel on energy is headed by JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh.
Stakeholders from the power sector like distribution companies’ representatives, power engineers’ federation as well as officials from the Power Ministry and even representatives from farmers’ association are likely to be called before the panel once the date of the meeting is notified, sources said.
According to sources, the panel may meet later this month to discuss the bill, which seeks to facilitate usage of distribution networks by any entity which gets a distribution licence. This would allow consumers to choose services of any power supplier from among several players operating in a particular region, just like customers have the choice to select mobile networks.
The sources also said that consensus of all the members of the Parliamentary panel would be sought for holding the meeting to discuss the bill.
The opposition parties led by the Congress and the farmers’ associations have been complaining that well-off consumers would opt for private distributors at the expense of state-owned distribution companies.
They have also alleged that the amendments in the legislation would allow private companies to pick and choose profitable distribution networks.
Farmers have been opposing the Electricity Amendment Bill, saying that power is an essential commodity which needs proper regulation and dominance of private distribution companies may harm the sector.
On August 8, soon after introducing the Electricity Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha, the Union Power Minister R.K. Singh had informed the House that it has been referred to the Parliamentary panel.