Day-long assembly session can’t solve Punjab people’s problems: Sidhu

Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday sought the extension of the state’s special assembly session, saying a day-long session can’t solve people’s problems. A day-long special assembly session has been summoned on September 3 for the commemoration of the 400th ‘Parkash Purb’ of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

Amid the ongoing power tussle between the camps of Chief Minister Amarinder and Congress’ state unit chief Sidhu, the cricketer-turned-politician on Monday took to Twitter, demanding the government’s directions to the power regulator to revise tariff to provide relief to consumers.

Sidhu, who has been at loggerheads with the chief minister, has been pressing for the state government’s action on an 18-point programme of the Congress high command for the state.

The programme included action in the 2015 case involving the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in Faridkot and subsequent police firing on the people protesting the sacrilege, the arrest of ‘big fish’ behind drug rackets and scrapping of power purchase agreements with various private firms.

“The Punjab Govt must immediately issue directions to PSERC in Public Interest to revise tariff being paid to Private Power Plants making the faulty PPAs null & void. Further calling a 5-7 day Vidhan Sabha Session to bring a New Legislation for termination of faulty PPAs !!,” Sidhu said in a tweet.

“This will help Punjab Govt give 300 units of free power to all domestic consumers including those of general category, decrease the domestic tariff to Rs 3 per Unit & Rs 5 per Unit for Industry, along with redressal of all outstanding bills, waiving-off the unjustifiable & exorbitant bills!!,” he said in another tweet.

The Amritsar East legislator also uploaded his short video in which he was demanding that the “faulty” PPAs be scrapped on a priority basis.

“In the public interest, the Punjab government should give directions to PSERC (Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission) and issue a tariff order under which electricity be purchased at a fair and just price and PPAs signed at exorbitant prices be declared null and void,” said Sidhu.

It will lead to a benefit of Rs 50,000 crore to the state and consumers will pay Rs 1.5 to 2 per unit less for power, he said.

While praising the state government for convening the special session to commemorate 400th ‘Parkash Purb’ of Guru Tegh Bahadur, Sidhu, however, said, “Several issues related to improving the lives of people of Punjab will not be solved in a one-day session.”

He said the session should be at least for five to seven days.

Sidhu said a law on scrapping the faulty PPAs be brought in the session.

He said the way a law was enacted to terminate the water-sharing agreements, a Punjab Termination of PPAs Act to scrap “faulty” power purchase pacts should be enacted.

He also wanted the government to come out with a mechanism to waive “unjustifiable” arrears.

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