The much-awaited amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003 are scheduled to be introduced in Parliament on Monday, August 8. It aims at increasing the share of green energy in the context of global climate change concerns and India’s commitments at COP 26 as well as to enhance the efficiency of Discoms to provide better services to the end consumer.
It also aims at strengthening the regulatory mechanism, and adjudicatory mechanism in the Electricity Act, 2003 and to bring administrative reforms through improved corporate governance of distribution licensees.
A key amendment being proposed is to facilitate the use of distribution networks by all licensees under provisions of non-discriminatory open access for enabling competition, enhancing the efficiency of distribution licensees for improving services to consumers, and ensuring the sustainability of the power sector.
It also seems to strengthen the functioning of the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC) for ensuring the safety and security of the grid, and for the economic and efficient operation of the power system in the country.
Enabling management of power purchase
Another key amendment is to enable management of power purchase and cross-subsidy in case of multiple distribution licensees in the same area of supply as well as to make provision regarding graded revision in tariff over a year, and for mandatory fixing of the maximum ceiling as well as minimum tariff by the appropriate commission.
The amendments also aim at converting the rate of punishment from imprisonment and or with fine to just fine, and to facilitate decriminalisation of offence as it would be mandatory to accept compounding. The Bill will also strengthen the functions to be discharged by the Forum of Regulators.