Thousands of power sector workers from different states held a massive rally on Wednesday at Jantar Mantar here to protest against Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022, All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said on Wednesday. The rally was held under the ageis of National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE), a statement said.
Besides opposing the bill and privatisation of power distribution (utilities), employees are demanding Old Pension Scheme and regularisation of all outsourced employees. Shailendra Dubey, Chairman of AIPEF said although Lok Sabha has referred the bill to Standing Committee on Energy, the committee has not held any discussions yet with power employees or electricity consumers, who are the biggest stakeholders.
He said any unilateral action to get the bill passed in Parliament without taking the stakeholders into confidence will be strongly opposed and all 27 lakh electricity employees and engineers of the country will be forced to resort to nationwide strike in protest against the move. He said the matter of giving choice to consumers through the bill is completely wrong.
In fact, through this amendment, the central government is going to hand over electricity distribution to private corporates to supply electricity through the existing network of government discoms, he stated. He said that before making any new amendment in the Electricity Act 2003, it is necessary to do a due analysis of the failure of privatization in Odisha and failure of private franchisees to distribute electricity at many places in the country.
Private sector franchises have proved to be a failure even in profitable urban areas, he opined. Now the central government wants to impose the same experiment of failure on the general public through Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022, which will never be accepted, he stated.