CITU protests in Srinagar against privatisation of PSUs
Srinagar: The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) on Monday staged a protest here against the privatisation of electricity, railways, public sector undertakings and the installation of smart meters.
During the demonstration at the Press Enclave here, CITU president and senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami expressed serious concern over problems being faced by the working class.
“The strike is part of the continuous struggle against the anti-worker and anti-people neoliberal policies of the BJP-led government. The present government is pro-corporate and is reversing the hard-earned rights of the labour unions,” he said.
Tarigami said privatisation of electricity posed the risk of establishing monopoly control over consumers through the market.
The Central government’s preferred approach of “unbundling” is essentially a move towards privatising the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, he added.
The CITU president said the government aims to dismantle state-owned distribution companies, handing over the entire public asset to private players, both domestic and foreign.
If the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 is passed, private distributors will not have to invest in creating their own distribution infrastructure to obtain a parallel licence for electricity distribution, he added.
The privatisation of railways would affect the dangerous consequences of unbundling the Indian Railways and separating the roles of policy, production, regulation and operation to promote privatisation, which is the core strategy of the ruling class, Tarigami said.
He added that electricity consumers in the Union Territory are aggrieved as they cannot afford the inflated bills generated by smart meters. “Despite resentment, the administration is going ahead with the move. We need adequate electricity and not meters only,” he said.
The CPI(M) leader said the recent order of the Jammu and Kashmir administration warning employees to stay away from strikes and subsequent disciplinary action is “arbitrary” and demanded its immediate rollback.