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NTPC employees plan strike, candle march to oppose disinvestment

Amid reports that the government is planning to cut its stake in NTPC, an employees’ association has prepared an elaborate plan against the disinvestment
New Delhi: Amid reports that the government has been planning to cut its shareholding in state-run NTPC Limited, an employees’ association at the state-run company has chalked out an elaborate plan against the proposed disinvestment. The NTPC Executives’ Federation of India has chalked out plans for general body meetings, gate meetings, candle march by employees, submission of memorandums and all-India strike at the company's units in November and December.

Has DIPAM floated a discussion paper on NTPC disinvestment?

In a letter dated October 28, addressed to Power Minister RK Singh, the employees have claimed, citing media reports, that the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has floated a discussion paper to consider the pros and cons of cutting down government stake in NTPC and will thrash out a strategy for rolling out the plan.

‘Federation to oppose disinvestment using democratic means’

In a resolution that dated October 20, the federation has claimed that the government has not responded to its request to review the decision to divest the stake in NTPC Ltd, and therefore, it has taken the decision to oppose the disinvestment process using democratic means. “While taking into consideration various developments related to further disinvestment in NTPC Ltd diluting government’s stake in NTPC to below 51 percent, the National Council has unanimously decided to oppose the government’s move for further disinvestment/stake sale/privatisation of NTPC Ltd by using various democratic options,” the statement said.

The action plan

In the resolution, the federation has said that it will try to mobilise unions/associations representing employees of other PSUs to form a joint forum to “fight against disinvestment/privatisation of CPSEs.” A general body meeting will be conducted at all units of NTPC on November 8. On November 15, gate meetings will be organised at all NTPC units, followed by a candle march by employees and their family members, the resolution said. “Memorandum will be submitted to various people’s representatives to build opinion against disinvestment of NTPC/privatisation of CPSEs. NTPC executives may go on two days’ token strike all over the country tentatively in the second week of December 2019...,” the statement added. It also said that if the Centre decides to go ahead with its disinvestment plan, the association may chalk out another action plan with the joint forum.