Power sector staff brace for nationwide strike on Aug. 10

Power sector engineers and employees in Andhra Pradesh are bracing for a nationwide strike called by the National Coordination Committee for Electricity Employees and Engineers on August 10 to protest against the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The A.P. State Joint Action Committee said in a press release that the Bill has been listed for passage during the monsoon session of Parliament instead of being referred to the Standing Committee on Energy.

The JAC said in a press release that the Electricity Act, 2003 allowed the privatisation of generation through delicensing and it now appears to be the turn of power distribution to be put in private hands.

The Bill in question would enable the private companies to go cherry-picking in supplying electricity to consumers, and prefer to supply electricity to only high revenue earning industrial and commercial consumers which will drive the States’ Discoms deeper into crisis.

The engineers and employees of A.P. power utilities will hold protest meetings on July 19 and organise various other programmes in the run-up to the proposed strike to mount pressure on the Centre to discuss the issues, the JAC stated.

It insisted that the Central government should not be more concerned about the profitability of private companies than protecting consumer interests, lest the far-reaching statutory changes cut at the roots of federalism.

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