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Countrywide strike on Jan 8 against move to amend Electricity Act
AJIT PATOWARY
 GUWAHATI, Dec 20 - Power employees of the country will take recourse to a countrywide strike on January 8 next in protest against the proposed amendment to the Electricity Act.

Informing this, Shailendra Dubey, chairman of All India Power Engineers’ Federation (AIPEF), said here today that the Union Government has proposed the amendment to the Electricity Act, 2003 only to facilitate privatisation of power supply. This move of the Union Government is anti-people and if implemented this will harm the weaker sections of the society like anything.

Considering the gravity of the situation and the possible adverse impacts of the amendment, about 1.5 million power employees and engineers across the country will resort to a one-day strike on January 8 in protest against the Union Government’s move and in support of their demand for its withdrawal, Dubey said.

The one-day strike will be resorted to under the banner of the National Coordination Committee of the Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEE), an umbrella organisation of 1.5 million power workers and engineers of the country. The Coordination Committee is of the view that the proposed amendment is aimed at handing over the business of power distribution to the private sector players without making them invest a single penny.

The Union Power Ministry set aside the objections raised by the States and the electricity boards on the amendment only to favour the private sector. The move will ultimately make the common consumers pay by their nose, as it will result in steep hike in power tariff. The power tariff will be so high that it is feared that power consumption would become an unaffordable proposition even for the middle-class households, said Dubey.

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