Privatizing Power Development Department (PDD) Problematic for domestic consumer.
NUSRAT BASHIR / KT
Srinagar : Tuesday, July 21: Post J&K’s re-organization and its division into two UTs, in a recent decision the central government has come up with a plan to privatize power sectors in all the union territories of the country which now will be implemented in J&K too. Earlier Power development Department (PDD) used to be controlled by state government Analyzing the cost of energy post privatization, the Jammu and Kashmir Electrical Engineers Graduates Union (JKEEGA) in collaboration with National Level Engineers body has come up with a report claiming that the move of privatizing power sector would be burden for domestic consumers.
As per report, the consumers who are currently paying tariff of Rs2 to3 per unit, will rose up to Rs8 per unit clearly making consumers to pay 3 to 4 times more if privatizing power sector. The central government announced in May that power departments and distribution utilities in Union Territories will be privatized.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman then said “privatizing UT discoms will provide a model for emulation by other utilities across the country”
In a quote president of JKEEGA, Munshi Majid said “After J&K’s re-organization and its division into two Union territories the unbundling of the Power Development Department (PDD) was among the first steps taken by the central government. After unbundling the government has decided to privatize the power sector which will have serious ramification on our economy”.
He said that privatizing the sector will have distressing impact on the consumer and the local traders, making private players easy allowance to increase tariffs as per there requirement. The frequent restrictions post August has halted the j&k’s economy and the people here are impecunious to pay thrice more the current tariff to the private owners.
Apart from local people near about 2600 PDD employees and their families, are at surge to be impacted by the move. Many PDD employees are at stake to lose their jobs by the process of privatizing. The centers move to privatize the sector has evoked dispute from various sides. The PDD employees earlier this year staged protest against the center governments’ move to unbundling of J&K PDD.
As per a survey done the average consumer base of UT of J&K’s is more than double than that of the entire consumer base of all UTs of India taken together. Jammu and Kashmir has about 23lakh consumer base whereas entire UT of the country is roundabout 9 lakh making it clearly incomparable.
While opposing the government’s move, the Jammu And Kashmir Power Engineers and Employees Coordination Committee (JKPEECC) threatened to launch an agitation against government if the center goes ahead with privatizing process of PDD.