Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the Power Minister not to pursue the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and to withdraw it to ensure the federal rights of the states are not compromised in any manner.
The SAD President, who wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, said the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 had become a cause of public concern because it impinged on the right of the states and was against the basic principle of federalism as enshrined in the Constitution.
Sukhbir Badal said the proposed bill prohibited states from giving subsidies and cross subsidies which was a direct attack on the constitutional right of the state governments to help vulnerable sections of society.
He said in case the Bill was passed, many ongoing welfare schemes which provide subsidised power or free power to different sections of society would be adversely affected.
"Besides causing administrative problems, the Bill also has the propensity to cause social unrest once it divests subsidised and free power from various sections of society, including the Scheduled Castes, underprivileged sections and farmers."
Sukhbir Badal said consumers would also face the brunt in case the Bill was passed in its present form.
The bill, if passed in its present form, would take away the power of the state governments to appoint Chairman and Members of the state electricity regulatory commissions, he said.
It also envisaged a constitution of the Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority (ECEA) which would take upon itself the powers enjoyed by the state governments, he added.