The former Rajya Sabha MP and senior trade union leader Tapan Sen has emphasized the need to build a nationwide movement in order to prevent public sector undertakings (PSUs) from falling into private hands. A three-day national conference of the Electricity Employees Federation of India is being held here, where representatives of nearly 50 unions of electricity workers across the country are participating. Sen was here to inaugurate the conference.
CITU’s general secretary, Tapan Sen, said: “The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 needs to be viewed in the context of neo-liberal policies.” With the passage of this bill, the public transmission infrastructure, which was constructed with the money of the working people of this country, will be transferred to the capitalists for them to profit from. Private companies will supply the electricity that flows through the government-owned structure. There will be arbitrary rates charged by the private companies. In the future, the government will not be able to control the electricity rates and supply. There will be no further subsidies or cross-subsidies. There will be a forced purchase of electricity by the general public and the farmers.”
In addition, the trade union leader stated that the farm-labour movement delayed the introduction of the bill by a year. Due to the aggressive attitude of the power workers, engineers, and farmers, the Bill has only been sent to the Standing Committee. In the past, workers, through their struggles, forced the government to reverse its decision whenever the government tried to privatise public utilities. It is possible to win this battle if all the employees and engineers of the electricity industry intensify their fighting against the electricity bill in broad solidarity, taking the public along with them.”