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Protest against Electricity Bill 2014: On Dec 8 power sector employees to boycott work
Power employees and engineers and contract workers of power sector of the country will boycott work on Dec 8 against Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014 as a token protest.
National Coordination Committee Of Electricity Employees & Engineers (NCCOEEE) has already served the work boycott notice to Power Minister at Kochi on 06th Nov during Power Ministers conference.

Union Power Minister, Piyush Goyal had assured during discussion at Kochi that Central Govt is making several changes in the Bill that will be placed on website before winter session. A B Bardhan, Convener of NCCOEEE has reminded Goyal through a letter about his promises to redress the issues raised by workers and engineers at Kochi, but more than a week time has elapsed and because of no response from Union Power Minister there is a deadlock and now work boycott seems inevitable.

Leaders of all national federations are meeting in Delhi tomorrow to finalise the work boycott strategy.

V K Gupta, a spokesperson of AIPEF, said that besides opposition of power employees and engineers Government has placed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014 on agenda of Lok Sabha for winter session. He told that Central government seems to be bent upon to pass the Bill in ongoing winter session of Parliament hence power employees and engineers throughout the country have been asked to boycott work on 08 Dec as a token protest.

Gupta told that the amendments in electricity bill are not based upon ground realities but are meant only to watch the interest of private players and will make state power utilities financially bankrupt. The amendments in electricity bill, which seeks to segregate the power distribution network from electricity supply business is basically anti people and does not look at root cause of power sector ailments but only treat the symptoms of problems.

He said that the electricity distribution and retail supply is the most critical link in the electricity market, which interfaces with the end customers and provides revenue for the entire value chain. By separating carriage and content in the power distribution sector, the electricity bill, in one stroke will make all the power utilities in public sector totally unviable.

He further said that already 18 states have opposed the Bill before standing committee of the Parliament on Energy but even then Central government is bent upon to pass the Bill to facilitate corporate houses which is not acceptable to power employees and engineers. He said that if bill is passed in the Parliament the tariff would increase by the addition of supply licensees and already financially bankrupt DISCOMS would be left only to cater to subsidized consumers and people living below poverty line.

The multiple licensee system will help only "cherry picking" and the deterioration of the incumbent public sector licensee, which will be the only responsible for supplying electricity to the unprivileged common man. This simply means nationalizing the losses and privatizing the profits. The competition is possible only in a situation of surplus, not scarcity of electricity, which the country was facing, said the AIPEF spokesperson.

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