Saturday, September 18, 2021

Chandigarh

Northern states engineers and employees stage dharna against Bill 2021

VINOD GUPTA | August 03, 2021 03:54 PM

CHANDIGARH:Power engineers and employees from northern states held a day-long dharna on Tuesday at Jantar Mantar New Delhi under the banner of the NationalCoordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers(NCCOEEE) against the unilateral announcement of the central government to pass Electricity(Amendment) Bill 2021 in the current monsoon session of Parliament, said V K Gupta Spokesperson of All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF).

On the first day of four days protest, the dharna of engineers and employees was led by Shailendra Dubey Chairman AIPEF. On Tuesday the engineers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, and Rajasthan participated.
Hundreds of engineers and employees from each state participated.
The protest will culminate on August 10 with a one-day work boycott by lakhs of engineers and employees across the country. Power Employees & Engineers across the country are agitating against the unilateral approach of the central Govt to rush through the Bill in Parliament. V K Gupta said that as the power ministry has refused to discuss the bill with engineers and employees, now it is Parliament’s responsibility to carefully
deliberate the electricity (amendment ) bill 2021 whenever presented before it and a detailed scrutiny
the process by the standing committee on energy should be allowed.
The bill passed in a hurry may fail to achieve its intended outcomes.
The move to abolish the cross-subsidy in a time-bound manner and proposing
a Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to such consumers by the state governments will snatch away the rights of access to electricity for farmers and poor domestic consumers.

The Central Govt seems more concerned over the profitability of private power companies than protecting consumer interests. It will be wrong on the part of the
central government to display a self-righteous attitude and bring in far-reaching statutory changes that cut at the root of federalism.
The proposed reform is counterproductive and would lead to the denial of electricity to the underprivileged and an increase in tariff for domestic and agricultural consumers, benefitting only a few privileged sections of society.
Gupta said many provisions of Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 are anti-people and anti-employee and if enacted it will have far-reaching adverse consequences.
The power engineers and employees are not against reforms in the power sector.
However, reforms don't mean that the power sector will have to be privatized, They demand to go for all-round development in the power sector
while keeping its public sector characteristics intact.

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