Srinagar: Putting speculations about privatization of power in Kashmir to rest, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday stated that it has no plans to privatize the electricity in Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking to the wire service –Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the Chief Engineer of Power Development Department (PDD), Hashmat Qazi said that there are no plans of privatizing the electricity in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.
Qazi said that the erstwhile department was recently unbundled and divided into four government-funded-corporations and people call this unbundling as privatization.
“I want to make it clear that there is nothing like privatization at all,” he said.
Asked whether the monthly electricity fee to the consumers will be increased, the Chief Engineer said that the electricity bill to the consumers is being increased annually, but the process got halted since 2016 as the regulators were not in place.
“As of now, there are no plans of enhancing the monthly fee to the consumers while the fee will be increased annually like the past. There are apprehensions among the people that the electricity will be privatized and the monthly fee will be increased at will, but these are all rumors as nothing like that is going to happen,” he told KNO.
Notably, on October 25, when the Jammu and Kashmir was State, the State Administrative Council (SAC) which met under the chairmanship of erstwhile Governor, Satya Pal Malik, accorded sanction to the unbundling of the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department (JKPDD), Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation limited (JKSPDCL) and Jammu and Kashmir State Power Trading Company Limited (JKSPTCL) (to be renamed as J&K State Power Trading Corporation Limited).
Consequent to the enactment of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, and repeal of the Jammu and Kashmir Electricity Act, 2010, the Central Electricity Act-2019, will come into effect on October 31, 2019, necessitating the restructuring of the JKPDD in terms of mandate, functions and jurisdiction between UT of J&K and UT of Ladakh.