It is believed that the amendment will affect the farmers and weaker sections of the society as subsidies may take a hit.
Protesting against privatisation, nearly 15 lakh employees of PSUs in the power sector will observe a one-day protest on 8 January 2019. The engineers will also join the strike that allegedly aims at privatising the public sector power companies by bringing an amendment to the Electricity Act, 2003. “The private power companies are already responsible for scams of around Rs 2.5 lakh crore but no action has been taken against them. Instead, with the new bill, the government is preparing for bigger scams,” said All India Power Engineers’ Federation (AIPEF) Chairman Shailendra Dubey.
He said that many other unions such as the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) will also join the strike. The employees will not attend work on the day of strike and any faults will be addressed only a day after. NCCOEEE has said if the government amends the bill, the power engineers will go on further strike without any prior notice.
It is also believed that the new change will affect the farmers and weaker sections of the society as subsidies may take a hit. Integration of all power utilities, implementation of the old-age pension scheme, regularisation of all contract employees and regular recruitment, review of power purchase agreements in the interest of common consumers are also among the other demands of the employees.
Power Employees Nation wide Strike on 08 January 2020 against Privatization Policies of Govt pic.twitter.com/qAQS5dDTVm
— shailendra dubey (@ersdubey) December 16, 2019
The number of companies generating power from conventional sources in the country is 167, which has a plant capacity of more than 25 MW of power. Out of 167, 62 are from the central or state sector, and 105 are from the private sector, according to the data provided by R K Singh, MoS (Independent Charge), Ministry of Power, New & Renewable Energy, in a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
He also said that the delay in payments by distribution companies to power generators is faced by all the generators, which impacts the cash flow of the generators in making advance payments for fuel, railways, etc.