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news details
Power employees lodge strong protest against privatization
9/24/2018 10:02:56 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Sept 24: The employees of Power development department today staged a protest demonstration here in Jammu and Srinagar simultaneously against the unilateral move of the Government to operationalise the unbundling of the department, without involving the employees who as major stake holders are apprehensive of the move of the Government.
The experimentation of this unbundling exercise has proved a failure all over India in most of the states barring a few exceptions where tariif has been set at cost recovery levels and subsidy is also generously being paid by the Government. There is no case where a distribution company catering to whole of the distribution sector which includes large agricultural base is in profit even after fifteen years of this unbundling been introduced. The central government has had to give a bailout package of 1.9 Trillion to help these unbundled companies to pay for their debts. The move of the Government without assessment of the fall out of these reforms on the employees and consumers is pushing this in a hurry just to satisfy the central government.
The employees are of the view that just because the Power Development department is unbundled and ceases to be civil service department and becomes a company, its financial position can't alter overnight. There has been a concerted effort by all employees backed by infrastructure up gradation ,that we are witnessing that Transmission & Distribution losses reduced from 62 percent in 2011 to 42 percent in 2016-2017.As per the annual tariff order by SERC for year 2016-17,each and every category of consumer in the state is getting subsidy from 7% to 60% vis a vis the average cost of supply resulting in revenue deficit which is met by the state government funding. Even the industry is getting the subsidized tariff as compared to cost of supply.
There is an average uncovered gap of Rs 2.69 per unit in tariff at an estimated T&D loss of 38% fixed as compared to national average of 1.35, which is nearly double. Moreover there is a large population based in agricultural sector that is not seen in Metropolitan cities. This is the real reason for the poor financial health of the JK Power development department. Along with the Infrastructural improvements leading to a trajectory of reduced T&D losses, the need of rationalising the tariff structure is more important than to unbundle.
The employees emphasised that there is a need for the government to resolve the major issues confronting the employees and present a transparent roadmap and clear blue print on the reforms with regards to promotion avenues , remuneration, terminal benefits, so that this doesn't turn out to be a futile exercise which neither benefits the employees nor the consumers. The employees have sought that consultations with the employee unions should be initiated immediately by the government on this crucial issue before proceeding further to avoid employees from taking an agitational path.
The Chief Engineer EMRE conveyed the message of Commissioner Secretary PDD asking to withdraw the protest by the employees and he assured that before moving ahead the State Power Employees coordination committee shall be taken on board into consultations to arrive at a right framework.
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