Recently, the Ministry of Power published a draft of the amendments proposed to the Electricity Act 2003 and solicited comments regarding the same. Amending the Electricity Act 2003 is a crucial process with far reaching implications for the sector. Considering this fact, we feel it is of utmost importance to proceed in this matter only after carefully evaluating all aspects of the proposed changes and giving all stakeholders adequate opportunity to comment on the same.

Today, the power sector is facing serious challenges such as large scale financial losses, rising tariffs, deteriorating performance of existing plants, fuel availability and quality related concerns and poor quality of supply and service. The proposed amendments aim at making fundamental changes to the sector structure and organization, but it is not clear how these changes will help in tackling the issues mentioned above.

Unfortunately, though the draft amendments are available on the Ministry of Power’s website, there is neither any review of a decade of implementation of the 2003 Act, nor a clear statement of intent that will help to understand how the proposed changes will aid in the present and long term context. In spite of this lack of clarity, we have submitted our preliminary comments and suggestions based on the plain reading of the proposed draft. These inputs are based on the insights gained by Prayas through its long term and consistent engagement with the sector issues as well as the policy and regulatory processes. The entire submission can be downloaded using the link below.