New Delhi: Terming the government’s decision to further divest 10% in public sector power major, NTPC, as “suicidal”, ten central trade unions have demanded that the decision be reversed at the earliest.
“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,” said a statement issued by the 10 central trade unions after a meeting held here on Saturday to discuss the decision of the central government to divest further 10% equity of NTPC via OFS (Offer for Sale) route. The present shareholding pattern of NTPC is 56.41% with the company and 43.59% with market players.
The trade unions said further 10% divestment would “push NTPC to minority shareholding of 46.41% and majority shareholding shall be passed on with private market players.” In other words, from a present ‘Maharatna’ Central Public Sector Undertaking, NTPC will become a market player-controlled private company, they added
NTPC, the statement said, was continuously “excelling its physical and financial performance” and had been contributing to a higher dividend in every succeeding financial year to the exchequer.
“Of the total installed power generation capacity 3,54,000 MW in the country, NTPC alone is 55,786 MW and another around 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 statement noted, adding that the power major had 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, its profit increased to Rs.12,633.45 crore and interim dividend already paid is Rs 2,951.88 crore and more shall be paid as final installment, it noted.
In this backdrop, the government’s decision was “shocking”, the trade unions said, fearing that huge assets of the company were now open for grabbing by private power players.
The statement, signed by INTUC, CITU, AITUC, HMS, AIUTUC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, TUCC and UTUC, appealed to all employees of NTPC to launch united resistance to stop privatisation of the Central PSU.