Maharashtra electricity workers organised a successful convention in Navi Mumbai on 16 November to protest against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 and electricity privatisation

 

Press Note issued by Com. Krushna Bhoyar, National Secretary, All India Federation of Electricity Employees

 

Press note
Date: 16.11.2022

Huge demonstration of electricity employees and engineers in Delhi on 23 November to protest against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 and electricity privatisation and for restoration of old pension:

If there is any unilateral action to pass the bill, electricity workers across the country will be bound to go on strike under the leadership of the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE).

On 16.11.2022, a state-level convention of electricity employees, engineers, officers and electricity consumers was organised by the Maharashtra State Power Employees, Engineers, Officers Sangharsh Samiti in Navi Mumbai. Engineer leader Sanjay Thakur proposed the convention. Consumers, employees, engineers and officers were present in thousands.

This conference was addressed by Shailendra Dubey, Mohan Sharma, Girish Bhave, Sanjay Thakur, Krushna Bhoyar, Dattatraya Gutte, Suryakant Pawar, and Sunil Jagtap. No part of Maharashtra’s Mahanirmiti, Mahavitaran and Mahapareshan companies will be allowed to be privatised. If the Maharashtra government tries to do this, then all employees will go on strike against it.

There will be a huge demonstration and rally of electricity employees and engineers in Delhi on 23 November in protest against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 and for the restoration of old pension, for integration of electricity companies, and for regularisation of contract workers by ending outsourcing. The rally will start from Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan and reach Jantar Mantar.

Addressing the convention, Shailendra Dubey, Chairman of All India Power Engineers Federation, said that the Lok Sabha has sent the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 to the Standing Committee on Energy Affairs of the Parliament, but the Standing Committee has not yet consulted power workers and general consumers about this. He said that any unilateral action to get the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 passed in parliament without taking electricity workers and engineers into confidence will be strongly opposed and all the 27 lakh electricity workers and engineers of the country will be forced to go on nationwide strike. He informed that before the Delhi rally, conventions of electricity employees and engineers are being organised in different states across the country.

The National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers has sent a letter to all the Chief Ministers of the country urging them to strongly oppose the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 in the larger interest of the power sector and its consumers.

Com. Mohan Sharma, National General Secretary of All India Federation of Electricity Employees, said that after last year’s Kisan Andolan, the central government had given written assurance in a letter sent to the Samyukta Kisan Morcha that the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 will not be passed without taking all the stakeholders into confidence. And it will not be placed in parliament without discussion with all the stakeholders. He said that the biggest stakeholders in the electricity sector are the consumers of electricity and the employees of electricity sector. Till date, the central government and the union ministry of power have not held any talks with the consumer organisations of electricity or with any organisation of electricity employees on the amendments proposed through the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022.

Therefore, if this bill is placed in the parliament without taking the power workers into confidence, then it will be a clear violation of the written assurance of the government and it will be strongly opposed.

Describing the statement of Union Power Minister RK Singh as misleading and deceiving the public, he said that the talk about giving choice to consumers through the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 is completely false. In fact, through this amendment, the central government is going to allow private companies to supply electricity using the distribution network of the government company. Government companies of electricity have set up a network of electricity transmission and distribution by spending crores of rupees, and companies are spending crores every month for the maintenance of this network. Through this bill, the government intends to give freedom to private companies to use this network.

Regarding choice to consumers, this point is completely wrong because according to this bill, only government companies will be required to supply electricity to all. Private sector power companies will supply electricity only to profitable industrial and commercial consumers using the government network. In this way, the work of providing electricity to loss-making domestic consumers and consumers in rural areas will remain only with the government electricity distribution company. Due to this, the public sector power distribution companies will be financially completely bankrupt and they will not even have the necessary funds to purchase power.

He further said that through this amendment bill, electricity is not going to become cheaper for the common consumer in any way. The main reason for this is that 80%–85% of the cost of power is the cost of power purchase and power purchase agreements are made for 25–25 years. Therefore, there will be no reduction in the cost of power purchase. It is clear that the public is being cheated by talks about competition.

He said that before making any new amendment in the Electricity Act 2003, it is necessary to analyse the failure of privatisation of Odisha and the failure of power distribution given to private franchisees at many places in the country. Private sector franchises have proved unsuccessful even in profitable urban sectors. Now, the central government wants to impose this experiment of failure on the general public through the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022, which will never be accepted.

On behalf of Maharashtra State Power Employees, Engineers, Officers Sangharsh Samiti, the state level convention of Maharashtra was held in Navi Mumbai. Suresh Mhatre coordinated this convention and D.K. More gave the vote of thanks. Electricity employees and consumers of Nashik, Pune, Ratnagiri, Kalyan and Bhandup circles were present. The conference was successfully organised jointly by the office bearers of Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation and Subordinate Engineers Association.

Your comrade
Com. Krushna Bhoyar
National Secretary
All India Federation of Electricity Employees
9930003608

 

 

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