Policy & Govt

What is Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 and why farmers are opposing it

Farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been agitating at the Singhu border between Delhi and Haryana for a week now. While their protest is centered around the three contentious farm laws passed by the Centre, the farmers are also against the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020.

Farmers fear the growing privatisation of the power sector and don’t trust the state governments to pay their subsidies on time, while experts believe that the opposition is largely “ideological”.

States, on their part, feel the proposed amendments will lead to the Centre taking up more responsibility in the power sector. The Union power ministry had come out with a draft of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill in April. Farmers in Punjab have been protesting against it ever since.

In October, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had said, “Three farm legislations along with proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 are clearly against interests of farmers and landless workers and time-tested agricultural marketing system not only in Punjab but also in Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh.”

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