Thousands of power sector employees and engineers across the J&K UT and the country held peaceful protests seeking withdrawal of Electricity Bill 2020 and to oppose the privatization process of electricity distribution in Union Territories and other states.
The protests were held under the banner of National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) in all the states and UTs of the country including J&K.
In J&K, Power employees under the banner of PECC comprising of various Unions of PDD, held protests across both the Provinces of Jammu and Kashmir by carrying anti-privatization placards “No Privatisation and No Victimization” in their respective work places. Power Employees Coordination Committee comprising of engineers and employees of J&K on the call of National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers, observed protest day today for seeking withdrawal of Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and to oppose privatization of electricity distribution.
Protests against privatization move across all districts in Jammu, Kashmir comes in wake of Government proposed Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020 for privatization of the Power Sector through transferring the assets created with public exchequer inclusive of natural resources to private houses.
The PECC strongly opposed the approach of Government ventilated through the proposed “draconian anti-people electricity legislation with clear objective of snatching away right of access to electricity from poor section of Indian people and peasants”.
PECC strongly resented the announcements made by the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman and developments thereafter on the issue of privatisation of distribution sector of Power Development Departments starting with Union Territories. This move will be detrimental to the service rights of the 31000 Government employees including the daily-wager and need based workers who have been awaiting regularization, since more than 20 years.
” The Bill is “anti-farmer” and “anti-domestic consumer”, a joint statement of PECC members said.
The Central Government having failed to arrive at consensus on the proposed Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 has unilaterally now decided to thrust upon the Union Territories the privatisation plan as it feels that the absence of any elected legislature is an opportunity to muzzle the rights of the common people and employees in particular. The public assets are being conceived to be given on a platter to the private profit centric organisations in UT of Jammu and Kashmir. The reforms in infrastructure currently in progress have the potential to reduce transmission and distribution losses.
The PECC appealed to the Home Minister, Minister of Power and Lt. Governor Jammu and Kashmir and Minister of State PMO Dr Jitender Singh to drop the idea of privatization and give greater administrative autonomy to corporations, employees and empower them in order to create a healthy power distribution sector.
The prominent among those leading included Sachin Tickoo, Jaipal Sharma, Sanjeev Bali, Ajaz Kazmi, Anil Slathia, HD Singh, Tarun Gupta, Balbir Singh and Jasbir Singh.