Power Engineers To Strike Against Electricity Bill

Govt going back on promise to hold talks with stake holders before introducing the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021, AIPEF says

By Virendra Singh Rawat

LUCKNOW, June 20 (The CONNECT) – The government sector power employees and engineers have warned of strike if the central government tables the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the monsoon session of Parliament.

According to the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF), the proposed tabling of the Bill without taking the powermen into confidence would tantamount to a breach of assurance given to the farmers by the Centre.

AIPEF chairman Shailendra Dubey explained that the various government corporations have set up networks of transmission and distribution by spending trillions of rupees and the government entities are spending crores of rupees every month while on the maintenance

‘Through this Bill, the private houses will be allowed to use this network to earn profit. This is the intention of the government in pushing this piece of legislation,” he said.

The Federation has firmly opposed the announcement made by union power minister R K Singh at a recent FICCI programme in New Delhi regarding the amendment.

“Any unilateral move to rush through the Bill in Parliament would compel the 2.7 million power workers across the country to go on nationwide strike,” Dubey warned.

The Federation has urged the chief ministers of the different states and union territories to oppose the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the larger interest of the energy sector and consumers.

“After the farmers’ agitation last year, the central government in a letter sent to the United Kisan Morcha had assured that the Bill will not be placed in Parliament without discussion with all the stakeholders,” Dubey claimed.

“The central government has not held any talks till date; neither with the consumer organisations nor with any organisation of power employees on the proposed amendments through the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021,” he lamented.

Terming the union power minister’s statement as grossly misleading, Dubey said the matter of giving choice to consumers through Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 is completely wrong.

“In fact, through this amendment, the Centre is going to abolish the license of electricity distribution and give the facility to private corporations to supply electricity through the existing network of government discoms,” according to the Federation.