Farmers’ body warns Centre against passing Electricity Amendment Bill-2022

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has warned the Union government against passing the Electricity (Amendment) Bill-2022.

The Electricity (Amendment) Bill-2022 aims to ensure the entry of private companies into the electricity distribution sector. (Image for representation)

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has warned the Union government against tabling and passing the Electricity (Amendment) Bill-2022 in the Parliament’s ongoing monsoon session.

Withdrawal of this bill was one of the main demands of the year-long farmers’ struggle. On December 9, 2021, the Union government had written to the SKM. The letter stated, “On the provisions in the Electricity Bill which affect farmers, there will first be a discussion with all stakeholders/Samyukta Kisan Morcha. Only after the discussion with the Morcha will the Bill be placed before Parliament.”

However, no such discussion has ever taken place in the last eight months. This is, therefore, a stark betrayal of the Union government’s own written assurances, the farmers’ body said.

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The Electricity (Amendment) Bill-2022 aims to ensure the entry of private companies into the electricity distribution sector. This will give them enormous profits by hiking power rates for farmers, and for all other sections of the people in our country. Cross subsidies will be ended. Free or cheap electricity for farmers will end. The cost of production for farmers will further rise. Domestic rates of power in both rural and urban areas will rise tremendously. The jobs of electricity employees and engineers will be adversely affected.

The SKM called for immediate massive nationwide protests if the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 was tabled or passed. The SKM said it supported the nationwide action call by the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers, for countrywide demonstrations on August 9, and to cease work if the Government unilaterally placed and passed the vill.

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