The Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022 has provisions that will be harmful to the poor farmers, who are getting free electricity, Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji said on Tuesday. The amendment would also affect the poor and deprive domestic consumers of free 100 units of power, Senthil Balaji told reporters here.

Private companies would be allowed to use distribution networks built by the State government and TANGEDCO, particularly in industrial belts and agriculture areas, without any investment, he pointed out. The bill to amend the Electricity Act was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday amid protests by the opposition, which claimed that it seeks to take away certain rights of State governments.

The Bill is aimed at allowing privatisation of electricity on the lines of communication. If it is passed in both the houses of Parliament, customers will have the option to choose the supplier of electricity just like one can choose for telephone, mobile and internet services.

Earlier, the Electricity minister held discussion with senior DMK leaders over the visit of Chief Minister MK Stalin to attend a function in Kinathukadavu near here on August 24, where he will distribute welfare measures to 82,000 beneficiaries. The meeting also discussed enrolment of 10 lakh youths into the party and 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Senthil Balaji said.