Pakistan News

Power workers protest against sell-off plan

Power workers protest against sell-off plan

LAHORE: The power and water sector workers on Tuesday observed a “protest day” all over the country against proposed privatisation and urged the government to invest in developing hydel resources for cheap electricity.

The protesters also asked the government to stop using the sector as a vehicle of tax collection, which only makes power more expensive and adds to people’s miseries. The hydel resources are the only hope for the country and the government should better realise it at the earliest.

The protesters reminded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that, in a meeting with All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union, he had promised far-reaching reforms in the sector and a number of steps for workers’ welfare. But all of them are still pending. The government should quickly act on its promises.

The rallies, which were held throughout the country, demanded the government not to privatise profit-making distribution companies. The K-Electric experiment had failed; why would the same method be successful in case of other companies. The official claim of not being able to run power companies in public sector sounds hollow when one takes it in the backdrop of currently being built metros in public sector.

The workers held rallies at all major cities, including Lahore, Quetta, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, Sahiwal, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Islamabad, Abbottabad, Mardan, Swat and Peshawar.

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2016

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