Trade unions oppose govt plans to sell 10% NTPC stakes

the unions said the 10 per cent equity sale would make the 'Maharatna' PSU a minority stakeholder and become a "market players controlled private company" (PTI File Photo)

Ten central trade unions have objected to government's plans to sell 10 per cent equity of the NTPC Ltd, describing it as a "suicidal move" that should be reversed.

At a meeting here on Friday, the unions said the 10 per cent equity sale would make the 'Maharatna' PSU a minority stakeholder and become a "market players controlled private company".

The meeting was attended by INTUC's G Sanjeeva Reddy, AITUC's Amarjeet Kaur, HMS' Harbhajan Singh Sidhu and CITU's Swadesh Dev Roye among others. Leaders of AITUC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, TUCC and UTUC also attended the meeting.

The trade unions pointed out that the NTPC earned a profit of Rs. 10,501.50 crore in 2017-18 while dividend paid to the government was Rs. 1,970.67 crore. In the last fiscal, profits rose to Rs. 12,633.45 crore and the NTPC paid an interim dividend paid of Rs. 2,951.88 crore and it will be giving more, they said.

"The only beneficiaries will be the private power sector players. The huge assets of the giant power sector PSU 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," they said in a joint statement.

At present, the present shareholding pattern is that the NTPC has 56.41 per cent equity and 43.59 per cent with market players. Of the total installed power generation capacity 3.54 lakh megawatt in the country, NTPC has 55,786 MW and another 15,000 is in the pipeline.

Expressing "deep concern" at the move, the trade unions said, "now with further 10 per cent equity sale through Offer for Sale (OFF) shall push NTPC, which has 53 power generation stations and 11 renewable projects, to minority shareholding of 46.41 per cent and majority shareholding shall be passed on with private market players."

"Pushing NTPC to the control of market players shall amount to bestowing the dominant control of power sector to the private sector which ultimately shall push the price of power to prohibitive height and common consumers shall be hit hard. Agriculture and rural consumers shall be worst victims," they said, while calling for a "united resistance struggles" to stop privatisation. 

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