Tariff Policy and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 

#GS2 #Polity #Governance #Acts #Amendments 

News : The Prime Minister reviewed the work of the Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, last evening. Policy initiatives including revised Tariff Policy and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 to redress the problems afflicting the power sector were discussed. 

Key features in the Bill  

  • The Union power ministry has come out with the draft of Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020. 
  • It seeks to set up an Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority (ECEA) having power of a civil court to settle disputes related to power purchase agreements between discoms and power generation companies (gencos). 
  • The ECEA will have sole authority to adjudicate matters related to specific performance of contracts related to purchase or sale of power, between gencos and discoms. 
  • The decision of the ECEA can be challenged at the Appellate Tribunal For Electricity (APTEL) and subsequently, at the Supreme Court. 
  • The draft provides that the cross (power) border trade shall cover import or export of electricity from India and any other country. The transaction related to passage of electricity through India would be treated as transit between two other countries. 
  • The draft law provides for introduction of power distribution sub-licensee or franchisee, which would not require a separate license from state commission. 
  • It calls for creating a National Renewable Energy Policy by the central government in consultation with state governments. 
  • The bill says that there would be no schedule or dispatch of electricity unless there is adequate security of payment as per the contract. 
  • The bill enables state as well as central power regulators to specify transmission charges under open access (earlier both functions were with the central commission). 
  • The Electricity Act would be applicable to the entire country, including the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. 
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