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Centre ‘wrongly’ claims Telangana backed power reforms

Hyderabad: THE State Electricity Department officials were in for a shock as the Union Ministry of Power, in the minutes of a meeting from February, 2021, stated that Telangana welcomed the new power reforms in the country.

While Telangana’s power officials had opposed the amendments proposed to the Electricity Act, 2003, in the said meeting, the minutes accessed by the media on Friday stated otherwise.

The Power Ministry had conducted a virtual conference on February 27, 2020, with all the States on the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act, 2023. TS Transco and Genco chairman Prabhakar Rao had attended the meeting. As the State government was not in favour of the power reforms, Prabhakar Rao highlighted its stand on the proposed Amendments to the Act. He also informed the Ministry about the proceedings in the State Legislative Assembly.

“We have been opposing amendments to the Central Electricity Act. It was a virtual meeting and everything was recorded. We do not know why the minutes were drafted this way,” TS Genco and Transco CMD D Prabhakar Rao told Express.

The minutes of the meeting described the comments/suggestions of the Telangana as: “The proposals by Ministry of Power are a welcome step. Issues on employee welfare i.e., surplus staff, retirement issues etc were raised. Regarding Renewable Power Obligation (RPO), penalty should be on total RPO and not individual RPO component”.

Prabhakar Rao further told Express that the State, meanwhile, welcomed the Central government’s decision not to fix meters to agriculture pump sets. “But we have opposed all other proposals. We have conveyed the State government’s stand on the amendments,” Prabhakar Rao reiterated.However, sources said that if the Centre decided to privatise the Discoms, then the State government may not implement the aforementioned proposal.

But once the Electricity Amendment Act is passed in Parliament, the State may have no other option but to implement some of the amendments, sources in the Energy Department said.