Union Ministry of Power has promulgated rules laying down the rights of power consumers in the country. While issuing these rules here today via Press Conference, Shri R.K.Singh, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, said, “These rules shall empower the consumers of electricity and added that these Rules emanate from the conviction that the power systems exist to serve the consumers and the consumers have rights to get the reliable services and quality electricity.” He said that 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. “This is what the rules provide for”, Shri Singh said.The minister further said, “These rules are also an important step towards furthering the ease of doing business across the country. Implementation of these Rules shall ensure that new electricity connections, refunds and other services are given in a time bound manner. Wilful disregard to consumer rights will result in levying penalties on service providers.” He said that this is one of the major initiatives and yet another step by the Union Government to put consumer in the centre-stage of public utility services. The Rules will benefit about 30 crores existing and the prospective consumers in the country. Stressing upon the need for awareness of all consumers especially in rural areas/villages, he said, States and DISCOMs are being advised to provide wide publicity to these highly consumer friendly Rules of the Government.