Institute survey on the coal crisis, privatization of electricity distribution in the UTs: AIPEF at the Center

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The All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has called on the Center to institute a high-level independent investigation into the coal crisis that has led to power shortages in the country and to abandon the privatization of power distribution in Union Territories, including Chandigarh.

The demands were presented at the AIPEF executive meeting on Saturday, chaired by President Shailendra Dubey, Secretary General P Rathnakar Rao, and attended by delegates from 17 states, on the ongoing electricity crisis in the country, said AIPEF spokesman VK Gupta. in a statement released Sunday.

The meeting adopted 10 resolutions on issues arising from the coal shortage and the privatization policies pursued by the Centre.

AIPEF demanded the withdrawal of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021, the abandonment of the privatization of electricity distribution in the Union Territories, the revival of the old pension scheme for all power employees and engineers and the review of power purchase agreements with respect to fixed charges.

On the current energy crisis, AIPEF has asked the Center for an independent inquiry to be set up on the coal crisis which enveloped the country this summer and is likely to last until the monsoon.

The Ministry of Power, in overcoming the crisis, on the one hand requires state governments and generation companies to import coal and on the other hand provides relief to private power plants that have been designed and sanctioned to run on imported coal. The federation alleged that the policies, including the import of coal, were aimed directly at benefiting private companies, according to the statement.

AIPEF demanded that the entire tender process for the privatization of electricity distribution at UT Chandigarh be abandoned without finalizing the standard tender documents.

Similarly, all initiatives aimed at initiating the privatization of electricity distribution in UT Pondicherry should be suspended given the good technical and commercial performance.

The federation has also demanded a comprehensive review of all Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) regarding the fixed costs that have to be paid even when no electricity is drawn, the exorbitantly high cost of generating electricity. renewable energy, the increased cost of generation by private thermal generators under section 11 of the Electricity Act 2003.

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