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February 9, 2021

Electricity workers to protest against price hike

Lahore

February 9, 2021

Lahore:Thousands of workers will take out procession in Islamabad on February 15 under the aegis of All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union CBA against aggravating increase in prices of essential commodities and for their other demands if the government fails to fulfill them.

Thirty percent raise in wages and pension of the workers commensurate with the price hike is one of their longstanding demands. There has not been any increase in wage and pension for one and a half year now.

Workers have been urging the prime minister to review the proposed privatisation of the national electricity distribution companies and profitable Guddu and Nandipur Thermal Power House since the privatisation of Karachi Electric Supply Company and Rawalpindi and Multan Distribution Private Companies have already failed miserably. This is the reason why Rawalpindi and Multan Private Companies were to be handed over to Wapda in the year 1980. These demands were raised in a press conference Monday held by Khurshid Ahmed, general secretary of All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union CBA, along with president of the union Abdul Latif Nizamani, Haji Ramzan Achakzai Joint President, Javed IqbalBaloch Regional Chairman, Tariq Niazi Vice Chairman Islamabad, Osama Tariq and Haji Iqbal Khan, Chairman KPK.

They pointed out that private independent thermal power houses were responsible for increase in the circular debt which would rise to Rs1.5 trillion by next year on account of capacity payments and payment of 50pc to 60pc profits in dollar. The workers urged the government to reduce capacity payment.

The government should instead raise the generation capacity of its national thermal and hydel power stations to provide basic needs of electricity at cheaper rate to the nation. They demanded that the government should take urgent measures to save the electricity staff from accidents which occur due to acute shortage of staff. They called upon the government to fill posts of line staff lying vacant for years and ensure safe working conditions to electricity field staff who suffer at the hands of lawless elements in their bid to prevent electricity theft and in recovery of electricity revenue. Three electricity field workers were brutally killed by lawless elements during the performance of their official duties, they said.