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President denies approval to Delhi Electricity Reforms (Amendment) Bill 2022: Here's why

The bill sought to raise the retirement age of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) members and chairman from 65 years to 70. The President returned the Bill because the Delhi Assembly lacked the jurisdiction to legislate on the Electricity Act.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Published on: October 20, 2023 20:42 IST
Delhi Electricity Reforms Bill
Image Source : PTI Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

The President has denied approval to the Delhi Electricity Reforms (Amendment) Bill 2022 passed by the Delhi Assembly. The bill sought to raise the retirement age of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) members and chairman from 65 years to 70. Currently, the tenure of the chairman and the members of DERC is five years or attaining the age of 65. 

Speaking to the media, Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said that the bill was not approved by the president and returned back. When asked about it, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he was not apprised of the matter. "I will get it checked," Kejriwal said in a press conference.

According to official sources, the President returned the Bill because the Delhi Assembly lacked the jurisdiction to legislate on the Electricity Act, which is a central law. They said the purpose of the legislation was to prevent any potential delay in the annual power tariff announcement in case the chairman and a member of the DERC departed simultaneously.

Since the inception of the DERC, the majority of its chairman and members have not been able to serve out their entire five-year term since they joined at the age of 60, 62 or later, as well as because of the top age limit of sixty-five years. Last year, the announcement of the power tariff for 2021-22 was delayed as the then DERC chairman Justice (retd) SS Chauhan completed his term on July 4. One member of the Commission had retired earlier in January 2021.

(With PTI inputs)

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