Privatization of power sector | JKPEECC to hold protest on June 1 to oppose Centre's move

In response to a call given by National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers, which is an amalgam of different power employee associations nationwide, Jammu & Kashmir Power Engineers and Employees Coordination Committee (JKPEECC) on Thursday extended support to the program against the Centre’s move to privatize distribution companies of Union territories.

JKPEECC which is an amalgam of various power employees associations of J&K decided to observe June 1 as “Black Day” or “National Protest Day”. The leaders of JKPEECC said all the electric employees across India stand together to oppose the government’s move which they called anti employee and anti-consumer.

“Six months ago the government decided to unbundle the erstwhile PDD into various power distribution companies and now recently the Centre announced that all power distribution companies of J&K will be privatized. We are against this move and we oppose the amendments that are to be made into central Electricity Act,” said PeerzadataHidayatullah, Chairman JKPEECC, addressing a press conference here.

The senior members of JKPEECC said during the unbundling, the government “gave in writing” that no privatization will be done. However, the government has backtracked now, they said.

“Instead of fixing the losses and crippling infrastructure of power department, they are going with privatization. J&K should be exempted from privatization given the factors like huge consumer base, current situation and geographical condition. Recently a committee constituted by union power ministry recommended that privatization should not be done in J&K rather the crippling infrastructure should be fixed first, but we don’t know why Union government is in such a hurry,” they said.

Recently, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman along with Union Power Minister announced that power distribution companies of all the UTs will be privatized. The move has triggered wide spread resentment from employees of power departments across the country.

JKPEECC has asked all the employees to wear black badges on their arms on June 1 while at their workplaces so as to express opposition against the move.