Maharashtra electricity employees to oppose privatisation of electricity distribution through parallel distribution licenses


Message by Com. Mohan Sharma, President and Com Krushna Bhoyar, General secretary, Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation to all union members and office bearers


Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation

28 Nov 2022


Dear comrades, all Central, Zone, Circle, Division and Branch office bearers of Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation, brothers and sisters

The central government’s Electricity Amendment Act-2022 has been opposed in the Parliament by various state governments, farmers’ organizations, trade unions in the power industry and stakeholders at the national level. Recently, on 23 November 2022, an unprecedented andolan of lakhs of workers near Parliament premises at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, gave a new direction to the movement for stopping privatization in the power industry. In this andolan, the National Coordination Committee of Employees and Engineers decided that on the day that the amended Electricity Act is passed in the Parliament, 27 lakh electricity workers, engineers and officers of the country will go on an indefinite strike.

The central government has started the process of privatization in various ways in various states before passing the new law. The process of privatization has been stopped in the states where there was strong opposition. The process of privatization has been completed in the states where there was no opposition. The Maharashtra government is not far behind. Based on the Electricity Act of 2003, Adani Electrical Company has submitted an application to the Maharashtra State Electricity Regulatory Commission for a parallel distribution license with the Maharashtra distribution company in Thane and Vashi circle, which is the most profitable and revenue-generating region of Bhandup circle. A public notification for the hearing of this application has been published by the Electricity Regulatory Commission in all newspapers.

The experiment of parallel distribution will be the first experiment to be done in Maharashtra. If the experiment reaches completion, all private capitalist companies working in the distribution sector, such as Adani, Ambani, Jindal, Tata, Torrent, and Kolkata Electrical, will ask for license for parallel distribution in the state and take over the profitable areas under the Maharashtra distribution company.

In the name of the poor financial situation of the distribution company, there is a lot of pressure on the employees, engineers and officers of the electricity industry to recover dues. After reducing line losses, electricity theft and arrears, will the distribution company in Maharashtra be handed over to private capitalists? The general public and electricity workers are asking this question. Is the pressure on electricity employees to recover arrears an attempt to spoil the image of the Maharashtra distribution company among electricity consumers? Such a discussion is also going on everywhere.

The central government has given crores of rupees to the distribution companies and issued an order to install prepaid meters for every electricity consumer by March 31, 2023.

All the infrastructure of Mahavitaran and the two other companies has been built with public money. Like other public enterprises, the central government is trying to sell it to private capitalists at a bargain price. We all know about Enron, the private power generation project brought in Maharashtra in 1994 as a first experiment, and the bifurcation of the electricity board in 2005.

The experiment of encroaching on our existence is going on in Maharashtra. It is the need of the hour to stop it.

An online meeting of all unions working in electricity companies in the state of Maharashtra was held on November 27 and 28. The Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation is a member of the Sangharsh Samiti. The Maharashtra State Electricity Workers, Engineers, Officers Sangharsh Samiti is going to announce a big time-bound agitation in the near future. All office bearers should start working in preparation of the Sangharsh Samiti’s agitation.

Your faithfully,
Comrade Mohan Sharma, President
Comrade Krushna Bhoyar, General Secretary
Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation



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