Centre explores legal recourse to HC stay on Chandigarh discom privatisation2 min read . Updated: 03 Dec 2020, 09:32 AM IST
- Chandigarh discom sale marks the start of India’s efforts to privatise the electricity discoms of its Union territories as part of its next generation power sector reforms
New Delhi: The union government is studying a legal recourse against the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order that stayed the privatization of Chandigarh’s electricity distribution company (discom), said a person aware of the development.
This comes in the backdrop of Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday admitting the plea of the UT Powermen Union, Chandigarh and putting a stay on the notice inviting bids till further orders.
The Chandigarh discom sale also marks the start of India’s efforts to privatise electricity discoms of its Union Territories as part of its next generation power sector reforms.
The Tribune reported that the UT Administration has decided to file a review petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the order that stayed the privatisation of the electricity department.
“The union government is studying the stay order and preparing its next course of action," said the person cited above requesting anonymity.
“The matter is being examined and suitable legal remedial measure will be taken," added a union power ministry official who also did not want to be named.
At least 10 companies, including ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. Ltd and Greenko Energy Holdings, have shown an interest in buying out Chandigarh’s electricity distribution company, as reported by Mint earlier. The others who have bought the request for proposals (RFP) document made available from 10 November for the Chandigarh discom are Tata Power, CESC Ltd, Torrent Power, Adani Group, NTPC Ltd, GMR Group, India Power Corporation Ltd, and Sterlite Power.
“Considering the nature of the issue involved, we feel that the matter will require detailed deliberations as it touches the employment scheme of the society in general," the court said and added, “To be heard within six months after the resumption of normal functioning of the Court."
Queries emailed to a power ministry spokesperson on Wednesday afternoon wasn’t answered.
The next set of privatisation bids expected to be called shortly are for the discoms of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu. Discoms of Puducherry, and Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are not immediately on offer due to issues such as political opposition and security respectively. With the electricity load for Lakshadweep Islands being low, it is also currently not being considered for privatization.
The notice inviting tender floated by the electricity wing of the engineering department of Chandigarh is for “selection of bidder for the purchase of 100% shares in the distribution company responsible for distribution and retail supply of electricity and having distribution license in the Union territory of Chandigarh".
The last date of bid submission was 30 December, with the discom earlier expected to be awarded by 15 January.
While Deloitte has been mandated to help with the sale process to privatize discoms in the three Union territories of Chandigarh, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands; SBI Capital Markets Ltd has received the mandate for Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.