Employees to protest privatisation of power sector today

All Jammu & Kashmir Power Engineers and Employees Coordination Committee (JKPEECC) will on Tuesday join their counterparts from across the country to oppose privatization of the power sector.

The protest demonstration will be held on a call given by National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE). The J&K power department employees will held protests against Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020.

Shailendra Dubey, Chairman All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said that on call of National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) more than 1.5 million power employees and engineers will hold protest meetings and demonstrations across the country against privatization on August 18.

Regarding privatization of J&K power sector, he said the government move was totally wrong and will end up handing of J&K power assets free of cost to private enterprises.

 “It has been less than a year since PDD was converted into power distribution companies. The government that time said the decision was taken for the improvement of power sector but now they are going for privatization, it is only been done to hand over the assets to big companies free of cost,” he said.

Munshi Majid, President Jammu Kashmir Electrical Engineering Graduates Association (JKEEGA) said as per the program, all the employees will hold a two hour protest in every office of power department against the privatization.

Majid said around 26,000 power employees including engineers will hold the protest demonstrations at their respective offices to oppose the privatization of state-owned power distribution companies (discoms).

He said the central government’s move to rush through such changes in the power sector at a time when the states/UT’s and general public face COVID19 crisis was “inexplicable”.

“Privatization of electricity is no way for power sector reforms, rather it will impact adversely upon poor domestic consumers, medium and small industries and and poor farmers,” he said adding all the power engineers and employees of J&K feel the proposed amendments were not backed up by the sufficient application of the mind.

The engineer’s body claimed that the central government’s decision to privatize power in J&K would put burden on consumers as the rate per unit will go up to Rs 8 from the current Rs 2 to 3.

The central government recently decided to privatize the power sector in all the union territories. As Jammu and Kashmir has been downgraded to a union territory following abrogation of its special status, the privatization as per the government’s plan will be affected here too.

According to the report the grouping of UT of J&K in decision implementation vis-à-vis the rest of the Union Territories of India is nothing but “farce” as the population as per Census-2011 of UT of J&K is three times the entire populace of all the UTs of India taken together.