NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written a letter to all Chief Ministers of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states regarding the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003 and asked them to talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter.
"I know you belong to the BJP/alliance and it won't be easy for you to speak against this amendment. But I request you to kindly meet the PM personally and apprise him of the dangers of this amendment," Kejriwal wrote in the letter.
According to an official statement, the letter has been written to the chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Bihar, Nagaland and Meghalaya.
“If these amendments are passed in the winter session of Parliament, then, all the authorities of the power sector will be vested in the Centre and the state governments will not be able to make any decisions. The Central Government wants to end cross-subsidy. Presently, almost every state government takes more electricity rates on the industrial and commercial use and by that money, they provide free electricity or at less rate to farmers," he added.
He stated that the amendment would adversely affect the common people, "If the amendments proposed by the central government have passed, then, the electricity rate of industrial, commercial, domestic and farming would become same. Farmers and domestic consumers will suffer," Kejriwal said.
Addressing a rally in northwest Delhi's Rohini, Kejriwal had said that he will travel to different states from next week to meet the chief ministers and convince them to stand together to stall the bill.
“I would meet several chief ministers, including Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), N Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh), Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala) and H D Kumaraswamy (Karnataka), to build consensus against the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act,” he said.
If the Centre passes the amendments, power tariff in Delhi will become Rs. 7.50 per unit for all consumers irrespective of the categories they fall in. Presently, residents of Delhi who use up to 200 units are charged Rs.1 per unit, while those using up to 400 units are charged Rs. 2.50 per unit.
Last week Kejriwal had said the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003, are "very dangerous" and aimed at benefitting "a few power companies" at the cost of the poor people and farmers of the country.