Thursday, October 01, 2020

Chandigarh

Lakhs of power sector employees protest privatization: AIPEF

VINOD GUPTA | August 18, 2020 03:04 PM

CHANDIGARH:Lakhs of power sector employees and engineers across the country held peacefully
protest meetings seeking withdrawal of Electricity Bill 2020 and
to oppose the privatization process of electricity distribution in Union
Territories and other states said V K Gupta spokesperson
All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF).

The protest meetings were held under the banner of National
Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE)
in all the states and UTs, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra,
Telangana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh,
among others.
PSEB Engineers Association today held peaceful protest meetings seeking
withdrawal of Electricity Bill 2020 and to oppose privatization
process of electricity distribution in Union Territories and other states.

Haryana Power Engineers Association held the circle level
meetings across the state to protest against Electricity
Amendment Bill 2020 and suspension of its general secretary K K Malik.
The meetings were addressed by the executive members and
zonal presidents across the Haryana. They all demanded immediate
reinstatement of the general secretary,
said Rampal Singh President of the Association.
Gupta asserted that after strong protest of eleven states and two union territories
in power ministers conference held on 03 July, Union Power Minister committed to
place a modified draft of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 but even after
more than 45 days Government has not placed any new amended draft on public
domain for comments and Union Territories have been asked to jump into privatization
fora without getting into the details of the ground realities.
UP Government has started the process of privatisation of Purvanchal Vidyut
Vitran Nigam & Odisha Govt has started privatisation process of three Discoms.
The Central Electricity Supply Undertaking (CESU) to Tata Power and
employees are already protesing.
The provisions in the draft Amendment Bill to allow private franchisee or
sub-licensee will only lead to cherry-picking of remunerative areas affecting
the financial viability of the Discoms. It may be mentioned that privatization
and urban distribution franchisee model has miserably failed in all the places.
Now imposing the same failed model on states in the name of financial help is
nothing but blackmail which is not acceptable & has been vehemently opposed by power employees and engineers across the country. It seems that the government is more concerned about the profitability of the private sector power companies.

Regarding direct benefit to consumers of the subsidy the amount,
the state governments must have the freedom to adopt payment of subsidy as per field conditions.
The proposed amendments to the Electricity Act 2003 lacked sufficient application of mind.
He said today's demonstration is a peaceful symbolic protest and if central and state governments
do not withdraw the privatization process then power employees across the
country will be forced to resort to democratic agitational steps.
K C Bhardwaj Secretary PSEB Employees Joint Forum said that protest rallies were held at divisional offices across the state.GNDTP Employees Federation
Bhatinda also held a rally at Bhatinda

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