Drop privatisation plan, workers ready to buy Power Grid’s equity: BMS to Centre

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on September 27, 2019

The RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has offered, on behalf of the workers in the Power Grid Corporation, to buy equity worth ₹20,000 crore to prevent the Government’s reported plan to privatise two transmission lines in the Public Sector Undertaking.

‘Condemnable plan’

The trade union said in a letter to Power Minister RK Singh that this decision by the Power Ministry is “condemnable” especially as the Centre presently owns just 55.37 per cent of Power Grid’s shares.

The letter reminded the Government that it was 11,000 workers that built the Power Grid as a major public sector undertaking. BMS’s national executive member and in-charge of the organisation in Power Grid and other PSUs Girish Chandra Arya said the workers are ready to buy the equity in Power Grid to help the Centre.

“Reports say that the Centre wants to monetise assets worth more than ₹ 20,000 crore by selling two profit-making transmission lines.

“Our request is that please don’t sell the transmission lines, but sell the equity to the workers in public undertakings. They will give more than what the Centre needs,” Arya said.

The letter said the announcement by the Power Ministry that ₹20,000 crore will be raised by privatising transmission lines was surprising to the trade union. “We have got information through various media that the Government is planning to privatise profit-making transmission lines of the Power Grid within a few months.” BMS said that the hard work of the workers was the main reason behind the earned profit of ₹ 10,017 crore in the last fiscal.

‘Short-term relief’

“The Government’s statement is clear that it does not want to keep Power Grid as a public sector undertaking. Privatisation may well be a temporary relief. But in the long run, it will be dangerous,” the letter added. Arya said rather than privatisation, the Centre should consider selling the equity to workers at a discounted rate.

Workers will invest

“Workers will be happy to invest in a profit-making public sector company. The government should stop the selling spree of profit making public sector companies. It should consider taking the workers’ contribution rather than handing over the public asset to a few people,” Arya added.

The BMS has opposed various privatisation/corporatisation of PSUs by the Narendra Modi Government. The organisation has been urging the government to not to change the ownership pattern of existing public sector units.

Published on September 28, 2019

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