Govt for Rs 1-cr penalty on entities violating Electricity Act

Govt for Rs 1-cr penalty on entities violating Electricity Act

Seeking to make penal provisions more stringent in the power sector, the government has proposed imposing up to Rs 1 crore fine on entities violating norms under the Electricity Act.

The proposed penalty limit would be a steep jump as it is just Rs 1 lakh under the existing provision.

As per the government, huge penalty that could run up to Rs 1 crore would be slapped on entities found to be non-complying with any orders or directions given under the Electricity Act.

The provision is part of various amendments proposed by the government to the Electricity Act, 2003.

In this regard, the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday and was later referred to the Standing Committee.

If the proposed amendment comes into force, violating entities would be liable for punishment that could be imprisonment for three months or fine up to Rs 1 crore.

It could be both in "case of continuing failure, with an additional fine which may extend to Rs 1 lakh for every day during which the failure continues after conviction of the first such offence," as per the Bill.

These norms would replace the provision in the current Electricity Act where the penalty can be only up to Rs 1 lakh.

With respect to a generating company that produces renewable energy, the Bill has said that in case of violations, the concerned person could face up to three months imprisonment.

For the particular generating company, the penalty could extend up to Rs 10 lakh and in case of continued failure to comply with the norms, the fine could be Rs 10,000 per day.

According to the Bill, none of the proposed provision would be applicable to the orders, instructions or directions issued under Section 121 of the Act.

This section pertains to the powers of Electricity Appellate Tribunal.

The government has said amendments proposed in the Bill would usher in much needed further reforms in the power sector.

Among others, the Bill has proposed measures to enhance safety and security of electricity grids, separation of carriage and content in the distribution sector and promotion of renewable energy.

"It (amendments) will also promote competition, efficiency in operations and improvement in quality of supply of electricity in the country resulting in capacity addition and ultimate benefit to the consumers," the government said on Friday.

Source: Business Standard

SMART GRID Bulletin March 2017


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