Power sector employees protest move to privatise supply

Monday, 08 December 2014 22:34 Suresh Kumar MG
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Parliament March 2014Power sector engineers and employees from across the country held a protest in Delhi on 08-12-2014 against proposed amendments in the Electricity Act, 2003 which was aimed at privatising power supply.

The employees, under the banner of NCCOEE, later handed over a memorandum to Power Minister Piyush Goyal seeking a review the energy policy for its "over-dependence on the private sector".

"State electricity boards have been dissolved in the name of incurring losses of Rs. 26,000 crore while after unbundling now cumulative losses of all discoms have exceeded about Rs. 5 lakh crore," Prasanta Nandy Chowdhury, General Secretary, EEFI, said in a release.

The federation said competition was possible only in a situation of surplus, not scarcity of electricity, which the country was facing. It also questioned the post-bidding tariff revision being allowed for Ultra Mega Power Projects owned by private houses. "Tariff for 25 years was fixed through competitive bidding, which is being dishonoured throwing away the universal norms of trade and commerce," EEFI said.

The employees threatened to "resort to more stringent path of agitation" if the Government does not heed their demands, such as halting unbundling, privatising and franchising all power utilities in generation, transmission & distribution till a review of the energy policy is done, filling up vacant posts, ensuring equal wages pending regularisation of contract and casual workers, among others.

Source- Hindu