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Work boycott by power sector engineers and employees across the nation

VINOD GUPTA | January 08, 2020 11:17 AM

CHANDIGARH:Power sector employees and engineers went on a work boycott/strike today on a call given by the National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE),a united platform of unions and federations of electricity employees and engineers.

The power sector employees are fighting against the Modi government’s move to pass the Electricity (Amendment) Bill as well as other privatization policies of the government, which are against the interests of consumers and employees.

The strike by the power sector workers and engineers was a success in most states. The maximum participation of employees and engineers was from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana,  Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala,   West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, ,  Maharashtra.Karnataka, Assam, Bihar,
, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
V K Gupta Spokesperson All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said that most of the amendments proposed in the Electricity Act 2003 and National Tariff Policy are against the interests of the common consumers. The worst part is the introduction of supply licenses who will only meter and supply power to the consumer from the nearby pole or transformer.
 State Discoms will maintain the power distribution network and the private company will earn heavy profits without any investment from high-end consumers and the universal supply obligation of subsidized consumers will be left with the state Discom.
Under the new tariff policy, the private company will charge the full amount with guaranteed profits from the consumers thus raising the bill of the consumers. Under this policy subsidy and cross-subsidy will be phased out in a period of three years. With the abolition of this cross-subsidy, the power will become costly for common consumers.
The proposed amendment  seeks to bifurcate the distribution of electricity into carriage (the distribution infrastructure) and content (the sale of electricity to the consumer).It proposes that the government lay down the wires that carry the electricity to the point of consumption, but private supply licensees compete overselling the electricity to consumers and make profits, that too without any investment. One of the supply licensees would be a government company, presumably to cater to the less profitable sections of consumers.

Gupta further said that the amendment Bill is anti-people, as the private sector would compete over larger and more profitable consumers while the smaller and poorer consumers would be left to languish. The proposal for installing smart meters is an exercise of a big scandal. Even today normal meters are working around the many developed countries without any problem.
The role of state regulatory commission will be reduced as they will be forced to follow national tariff policy. As electricity is a concurrent subject this is a direct attack on the rights of the states.
He said employees would proceed to indefinite strike without notice in case the government tried to issue an ordinance.

Other main demands of power employees are the integration of all power utilities in states, review of power purchase agreements in the interest of people.

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