Power Ministry reveals the rules pertaining to consumer rights

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The Union Power Ministry has revealed the notified rules to assure the rights of the consumers and to provide compulsory standards of service which includes the 24/7 electricity supply. The rules also cater to the penalties with regard to power distribution firms when they may not be able to manage the mandatory standard norms and protocols.

The Ministry released an official statement on Monday which stated, “The Ministry of Power has promulgated rules laying down the rights of consumers… These Rules emanate from the conviction that the power systems exist to serve the consumers and the consumers have rights,” just when the Electricity Rules were revealed.

“ Distribution Companies across the country are monopolies – whether government or private – and the consumer has no alternative – therefore it was necessary that the consumers’ rights be laid down in Rules and a system for enforcement of these rights be put in place.”

The statement further clarifies that the implementation of the rules will benefit in terms of being timely arranged with new electricity connections, refunds and other services. The statement further highlighted that disregard of the consumer requirements will be penalized.

The rules will be as per the benefits of the 300 million existing and prospective consumers. The rules need to be implemented which means there will also be an automatic compensation.

The ministry has released a set of draft rights pertaining to electricity consumers as per the Electricity Act, 2003, which comprises if a consumer charter. The recent rules empower consumers and have fresh supply rights for the consumers.

The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, urges for a simple and time-bound procedure with respect to connections and expedited alteration of the already present ones, 2% to 5% rebate on the serving bills which comes with the delay of time period of over 60 days. Further, it gives the access to pay the bills online for Rs.1,000 or more.

The policy is strictly in inclined towards the consumers, as there will suspension of licenses on non-availability of required power supply arrangements and imposing of penalties when there is a problem in the supply of current to the consumers with the only exception being some technical problem.

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