Agitation Continues: KSEBs Protests Against Electricity Bill 2022 Sees New Course Of Action

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Agitation Continues: KSEB's Protests Against Electricity Bill 2022 Sees New Course Of Action

As the Union minister refers the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 to a parliamentary standing committee, KSEB's statewide protests views it as a partial success and considers a new course of action for the agitations.

Providing a brief relief, the Union Power Minister R K Singh has referred the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 to a parliamentary standing committee for consultations instead of tabling it in the Lok Sabha. This move was adopted after widespread protests had erupted against the amendments that would privatise the electricity supply in India.

Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) had announced statewide protests along the same lines, and they have announced that they would firmly move with the protests until the Bill is quashed.

Declaring Partial Success

On August 8, a group of KSEB employees mass boycotted their work and demonstrated against the Centre's recommendation to privatise the power distribution network. They were soon joined by other trade unions such as the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and Swathantra Thozhilali Union (STU).

With the Central Government referring the Amendment Bill 2022 to a parliamentary committee for consultations, the various trade unions in the KSEB have announced that the statewide protests have been a partial success. The next action will be taken in due course as the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers will convene in New Delhi on August 9. MG Suresh Kumar, President of the KSEB Officers Association, has said that they believe that the coordination committee meeting of engineers would be able to make the right interventions against the bill.

However, the KSEB has also declared that the protests would not stop until the bill is quashed entirely.

"The BJP(ruling government) has got a majority in the parliamentary committee, still the protesting entities should be able to highlight the consequences of privatisation", said Suresh Kumar, to the New Indian Express.

The parliamentary standing committee consists of 19 members in total, headed by Rajiv Ranjan of JDU and a majority of BJP leaders. However, strong opposition has played against the bill from several state electricity boards and power engineers.

Widespread Oppositions Playing Into The Equation

N K Premachandran, Member of Parliament from Kerala, had voiced his opposition against the bill at the Lok Sabha, claiming that it went against the constitutional structure of federalism. Along similar lines, many states and parties, including the Aam Aadmi Party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, and the Congress, made sure to put forth their concerns on Bill's privatisation policies.

Over 27 Lakh power engineers rejected the bill and demanded that the government retract the bill. They believe that the passing of such a policy would lead to major loss and monopolisation of the power industry in India. Staging protests across Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and so on, they ensured that their point was put across to the government before discussing the bill.

Also Read: No, Electricity Has Not Been Free For Kashmiris Since Independence! Viral Posts Are False

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