Stalin writes to Modi on free power to farmers
Tamil Nadu

Stalin writes to Modi on free power to farmers

S Murari

TAMIL NADU,May 28, 2020 : The DMK president M K Stalin has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to drop the new Electricity Bill which wants to do away with free supply of power to farmers.

He has marked Chief Ministers of all non-BJP States, including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal in effect to call for collective resistance to the move.

Recalling that it was his father and late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who pioneered this scheme way back in 1990, Stalin said the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 which seeks to do away with free power supply to farmers encroaches on State's law making powers.

He said though ‘electricity’ is in the concurrent list, sale of power and tax on consumption are under the purview of States.

He said centralization of State agencies in order to privatise electricity “is totally unacceptable” he said and alleged that the Centre had undertaken this measure to divert people’s attention from its failure to contain the spiraling Covid cases .

He sought the support of the Chief Minister of non-BJP States in his party’s efforts to protect the rights of States.

The proposed bill envisages an appropriate commission to fix power tariff without taking ito the subsidy element into account. In other words, the subsidy burden will be on the States concerned. This provision is already in force with the distribution company telling the consumer what is the actual tariff and what is the element of subsidy.

What the bill seeks to do is to progressively reduce the tariffs, surcharges and cross-subsidies. This is what Stalin is objecting to.