In a significant power sector reform measure, the government on Saturday said it will soon make necessary amendments to the Electricity Act to allow consumers to choose their distribution company.
"Electricity Act has been in discussion for quite some time. The act was put up for stakeholders' consultation. We have received various suggestions", Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters in the national capital at a Confedaration of Indian Industry (CII) event.
"What we are looking at is allowing competition at last mile delivery so that consumers have a choice of supplier of electricity, it will also help states serve the people better", the Minister said.
Goyal assured that wherever there are existing power purchase agreements, the interests of stakeholders will be protected in consultation with certain benchmarks set by the regulator.
The Minister said competition will be encouraged at the last mile in the interest of keeping tariff low, competitive and for better customer service.
On being asked about allowing end users of electricity to select their own power distribution firm, Goyal said it will be done gradually, adding that it was tried in Maharashtra but due to some court decisions it couldn't go further.
There were some hurdles under the Electricity Act of 2003, he said when asked why the proposed model did not work in that state. We are trying to resolve those hurdles under the current amendment to the Electricity Act, he added.