The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
No Consensus On Power Policy
The Central Government spokesmen have given a misleading impression about the deliberations of the meeting on the power sector attended by Chief Ministers and power ministers from the states. There is no basic agreement on the course of power sector reforms being sought to be pushed through. The drive for privatisation of the power sector and the dismantling of the state electricity boards are landing the power sector in a mess.
Steep increases in power tariffs for the people, whether they be farmers or domestic consumers, have taken place in the states which have accepted the World Bank sponsored model. The Dabhol power plant of Enron represents the worst face of the policy, which also saddles the Central Government with a counter-guarantee. In the past decade, experience has shown that there is no escape from greater public investment in the power sector as private sector investment has been meagre.
Various state governments have expressed their dissent and reservations on various aspects of the Centre's power policy. The draft Electricity Bill 2000 is not acceptable to the CPI(M) and many other parties and organisations.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands a complete review of the power policy. Till then no legislation which promotes privatisation and encroaches on the powers of the states should be brought before parliament.