Udayavni Special

Power engineers, staff to boycott work on Aug 10 to oppose Electricity (Amendment) Bill


PTI, Jul 14, 2021, 1:52 PM IST

New Delhi: Power engineers and employees will boycott work for a day on August 10 to protest against the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021, AIPEF said on Wednesday.

The All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) in a statement said the Bill listed for the monsoon session of Parliament should not be rushed through and instead should be referred to the standing committee on energy.

The Federation alleged that Electricity Act 2003 allowed privatization of generation and now in the proposed Bill, privatization of power distribution is being done which will drive State discoms to bankruptcy.

”Power engineers and employees across the country will join a one-day work boycott call on August 10 to protest against the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021,” AIPEF spokesperson VK Gupta said.

This decision was taken in the virtual meeting of the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) on Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by AIPEF Chairman Shailendra Dubey.

NCCOEEE core committee office bearers will meet Union Power Minister on July 27 to hand over a memorandum against the proposed Bill.

Gupta said consumers and power sector employees and engineers, the major stakeholders, are being ignored in finalizing the draft Bill and the Centre has not made any effort to discuss the issues with them.

The move to de-license power distribution is no way to ensure efficient and cost-effective electricity supply to the citizens, AIPEF said adding that unless the reform is designed taking into account ground realities, the well-intended objective of ‘choice to consumers’ may not be fulfilled.

The move to abolish cross-subsidy in a time-bound manner and proposing a Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to such consumers by State governments will take away the rights of access to electricity for farmers and poor domestic consumers, it stated.

Gupta further alleged that the Centre seems more concerned over the profitability of private power companies than protecting consumer interests. In case the government tries to pass the Bill before August 10, the work boycott will be brought forward to the same day, it stated.

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