Power employees, engineers to go on one day strike on Aug 10 over Electricity Amendment Bill

Lucknow : On the call of the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees & Engineers (NCCOEEE), over 1.5 million power employees across the country will resort to the one day strike/work boycott on August 10 against Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

‘After four days of successful ‘Satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, power engineers and employees are up in arms against the complete privatisation of the power sector and are now gearing up for the strike/work boycott on August 10,’ AIPEF Chairman Shailendra Dubey said in a statement here on Sunday.

What electricity employees fear about the contentious Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 is the move towards privatisation of power distribution across the country which is already underway in a few states and Union territories, it stated.

Mr Dubey said that a large number of employees and engineers have staged protests at Jantar Mantar in Delhi from August 3 to 6, despite the fact that permission to hold a satyagrah was refused by the Government. He said many provisions of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, are ‘anti-people and anti-employee’; and if enacted, it will have far-reaching adverse consequences.

He demanded that the Bill should not be rushed through in the current session of Parliament instead it should be referred to Parliament’s standing committee on energy, as the power ministry has refused to discuss the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, with power engineers and employees.

The move to abolish the cross-subsidy in a time-bound manner and proposing a direct benefits transfer (DBT) to such consumers by the state governments will snatch away the rights of access to electricity for farmers and poor domestic consumers, it stated.

The central government seems more concerned over the profitability of private power companies than protecting consumer interests, it said.