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State to take over KSEB functions

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V.S. Achuthanandan says the government will form one company in place of the KSEB.
V.S. Achuthanandan says the government will form one company in place of the KSEB.

P. Venugopal

Legal measures to form a company fully owned by the government to follow

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State government has decided to take over the assets and liabilities of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) as a first step in circumventing the Central dictate to dismantle it and form more than one company in its place.

This will be followed up by legal measures to form a company fully owned by the State government to handle all the functions currently being performed by the KSEB, a top official told The Hindu.

After an all-party meeting here on Thursday, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan stopped short of revealing to the media the full strategy of the State government.

He said the government would form “one company in place of the KSEB on the basis of the Electricity Act of 2003.” He stressed the word ‘one’ to indicate that the State would not split up its power utility as asked by the Union government.

He said the government would take all measures required to protect the interests of KSEB employees and pensioners.

UDF boycott

The all-party meeting and a meeting with the trade unions concerned subsequently were called by the government to evolve a consensus on how Kerala should restructure its power sector. Constituents of the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) kept away from the meeting.

He said he had talked to the Union Power Minister on the phone to explain the State’s stand that electricity was a subject in the concurrent list.

The deadline for the State in complying with the Electricity Act was September 24. He said Kerala needed more time to complete the formalities connected with the setting up of a company in place of the KSEB.

“The Union Minister seemed to understand the position. Let us see,” Mr. Achuthanandan said.

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