The workers working in the power companies of the state are in a dilemma regarding the proposal of the Central Government to amend the Electricity Act 2003. The objective of the government to bring this bill is to end the monopoly of power companies and increase competition in the market by separating the business of electricity supply and transmission network. But, the workers are apprehensive that due to privatization of power companies, their jobs will be in danger.
The meter is the same, but the companies providing electricity will increase
According to officials, when the new Act is implemented, the meter installed in the houses will remain the same, but many private companies will be available in the field to provide electricity. Like the mobile network, consumers will be able to port the electricity of the company they want. Private companies will use the infrastructure of the government transmission and generation company and in return will pay ‘wheeling charges’ to the government companies for using the wire.
Case pending with parliamentary committee
After presenting it in Parliament, this bill has been sent to the Parliamentary Committee on Electricity Affairs for scrutiny. The chairman of this parliamentary committee is Rajeev Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, MP from Munger in Bihar and National President of JDU. However, due to the presence of BJP MPs in the 15-member committee, it is expected to be passed soon.
What will change?
For Consumers: Like mobile network companies, option will be available to choose between more than one power supplying company in their area. The organization fears that private companies will fix the rate while fixing the cost and profit, which is likely to increase the power rate. However, the government side is denying this.
For the state government: gradually the role of the state government will end. Only private companies will handle the responsibility of distribution from transmission. Earlier, only 33 and 11 KVA sub-stations would be left with the power supply companies of the state. But, going forward, this sub-station and line will also be absorbed in the transmission company.
For employees: Due to privatization of electricity distribution system, there will be a permanent job crisis for the current working power workers. The possibility of layoffs will remain.
Bad effect on consumers
Amarendra Prasad Mishra, general secretary of the Bihar-Jharkhand State Electricity Council Field Kamgar Union, has said that the amendment in the Electricity Act will have a bad effect on the electricity workers as well as the consumers. The organization will agitate to demand the withdrawal of the bill. In protest against this, the Virat Convention is also being organized on 13 September.