#GS2 #Acts&Amendments 

Ministry of Power has released draft Electricity Act(Amendment) Bill 2020 to amend the Electricity Act, 2003 to introduce key Reforms in the Power Sector. 

Major amendments proposed in the Electricity Act are as follows: 

  • Direct Benefit Transfer: It is proposed that tariff be determined by Commissions without taking into account the subsidy, which will be given directly by the government to the consumers. 
  • Establishment of Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority: A Central Enforcement Authority headed by a retired Judge of the High Court is proposed to be set-up with powers of the Civil Court to enforce performance of contracts related to purchase or sale or transmission of power between a generating, distribution or transmission companies. 
  • Establishment of adequate Payment Security Mechanism for scheduling of electricity: It is proposed to empower Load Dispatch Centres to oversee the establishment of adequate payment security mechanism before scheduling dispatch of electricity, as per contracts. 
  • Strengthening of the Appellate Tribunal (APTEL): It proposes to increase the strength of APTEL to 7 apart from the Chairperson so that multiple benches can be set-up to facilitate quick disposal of cases. It is also proposed to further empower the APTEL to enforce its decisions. 
  • National Renewable Energy Policy: It is proposed to provide for a policy document for the development of electricity from renewable sources of energy. A minimum percentage of purchase of electricity from hydro sources of energy is to be specified by the Commissions. 
  • Cross border trade in Electricity: Provisions have been added to facilitate and develop trade in electricity with other countries. 
  • Franchisees and Distribution sub licensees: Distribution Companies may engage Franchisees or Sub-Distribution Licensees to distribute electricity on its behalf in a particular area. However, it will be the DISCOM which shall be the licensee.  
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