August 11, 2019

Privatisation of NTPC Suicidal, say Trade Unions

THE Central Trade Unions (CTUs), in its meeting held at New Delhi on August 2,  expressed deep concern at the decision of the central government to divest further 10 per cent equity in the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) through Offer for Sale (OFS) route. The present shareholding pattern of NTPC is 56.41 per cent with the company and 43.59 per cent with market players.

In a press release, the leaders of the trade unions said that a further 10 per cent equity sale through OFS shall push NTPC to minority shareholding of 46.41 per cent and majority shareholding shall be passed on to the private market players. “From a present ‘Maharatna’ Central Public Sector Undertaking, NTPC will become a market players’ controlled private company,” they said.

“NTPC has been continuously excelling its performance. It has been contributing to government exchequer through higher dividend payment in every succeeding financial year. Out of the total installed power generation capacity of 3,54,000 MW in the country, NTPC alone is generating 55,786 MW and another 15,000 MW is in the pipeline. As a singularly biggest power generation company, the ‘techno-economic’ efficiency of NTPC is the best in the country,’ the CTUs said.  

Further, the leaders stressed that the NTPC has 53 power generation stations and 11 renewable energy projects. In 2017-18, NTPC earned a profit of Rs 10,501.50 crore and the dividend paid to the government was Rs 1,970.67 crore and in 2018-19 the profit increased to Rs 12,633.45 crore and interim dividend already paid is 2,951.88 crore and more shall be paid as final installment.

“The shocking decision by the government is suicidal for the country. The only beneficiaries will be the private power sector players. The huge assets of the giant power sector CPSU are going to be grabbed by private power generators.  Change in shareholding pattern of the company is bound to seriously affect the employees in several ways including huge job losses,” added the CTU members.

The Central Trade Unions demanded the reversal of the decision of the government and said that it would only lead to bestowing the dominant control of power sector to the private sector which ultimately shall push the price of power to prohibitive heights. They stressed that the common consumers shall be hit hard and agriculture and rural consumers shall be worst victims.

The CTUs appealed to all the employees of NTPC to forge total unity and launch united resistance struggles to stop privatisation of NTPC. They also appealed to the entire public sector power sector employees in particular and the public sector workers in general to extend solidarity support to NTPC employees’ struggles.