Finmin thwarts move to attack autonomy of power regulators

New Delhi, July 31 | Updated: Aug 1 2005, 06:52am hrs
A Cabinet note by the power ministry, seeking to usurp the autonomy of power sector regulators, including the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), is being opposed by the finance ministry.

In the Cabinet note, the power ministry had proposed a clutch of amendments to the Electricity Act, virtually mandating the regulators to follow the National Electricity Policy and Tariff Policy, as they are approved by the Union Cabinet, in consultation with the state governments.

We have sent a note to the power ministry in response to its draft Cabinet note, wherein we have, as a whole, backed the regulators view that their autonomy is an integral component of power sector reforms, a senior finance ministry official told FE.

Power Game
Autonomy of regulators integral part of power reforms, says finmin
CERC shares finmin
view and calls it setback to reform
When contacted, AK Basu, chairman, CERC, said, By expecting us to act in accordance with set policies, the power ministry has defied the Prime Ministers view that infrastructure reforms are irreversible. He called the proposed amendments a setback to reforms.

However, defending the proposed amendments, power secretary RV Shahi told FE that they would only enhance the powers of the Central Electricity Authority and the Centre and state regulatory commissions.