Power sector engineers and employees under the banner of National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) submitted a memorandum to Union Power Minister, Piyush Goyal.
The representatives of NCCOEEE had an hour long meeting with Piyush Goyal at the venue of Power Ministers conference. They presented their viewpoint on the various issues concerning the power sector and implications of the proposed amendments in electricity bill.
The minister assured the delegation that the concerns of the employees and engineers working in the power sector will be addressed. He informed that the states have been given the power to decide the timing and method of introducing competition in distribution and no cherry picking will be permitted. The necessary changes in the bill cleared by the standing committee will be made
Earlier more than 10,000 employees took out a massive protest march to the venue of the All India Conference of state power ministers on Friday demanding revocation of the proposed amendment to the Electricity Act 2003.
KO Habeeb, President EEFI, B Pradeep, President KSEB Officers Association, P Rathnakar Rao, Secretary General, All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF), Mohd Shereef, President, KSEB Engineers Association along with other leaders addressed the demonstration.
Power Minister of Tripura addressed the demonstration and extended support to power workers against Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014 in their struggle.
"Profits made by public sector undertakings in the power sector, having infrastructure built using public money, need to be passed on to consumers through State-owned distribution companies," urged Manik Dey, Electricity Minister of Tripura.
The reforms in the power sector since liberalisation have put a heavy burden on the distribution companies. In the past 12 years, the losses accrued by power distribution companies have crossed Rs 2,60,000 crores and their debt has gone above Rs 3.5 lakh crores. The proposed amendments will further worsen the situation..
The NCCOEEE also alleged that the government did not consult the trade unions in the sector while formulating the amendments. Even the parliamentary standing committee on power sector reforms did not take into consideration the view point of the unions. Besides, 18 states, including Kerala and Gujarat had expressed strong reservations on the amendments.