LAHORE

A good number of electricity/Wapda workers Wednesday staged a protest demonstration in front of Punjab Assembly against the proposed privatization of electricity distribution and generation companies on the behest of the World Bank and high price of electricity and its serious loadshedding.  The workers held protests and rallies in support of their demands in other major cities of the country as well.

Holding placards and banners, the employees of Lesco and NTDCL chanted slogans against the government and demanded it to reverse the decision of privatization of power distribution and generating companies of public sector. The protest was organised by the All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Union (CBA). The protest caused jam of traffic at the Mall for more than an hour. There were reports of the protests against the privatization policy of the government in other big cities.

The protestors said they will not allow the government to privatize the power sector. They said the privatization policy of the government was against the vision of the founder of the nation. Quaid-i-Azam had said the government would establish institutions in public sector for benefit of the masses but the government has started selling them.

They said they would continue struggle against the government policy until it accepted their demands.

The workers demanded of the federal government to review its economic and social policies and introduce far reaching reforms to set up hydel, coal and gas fired thermal power stations in the public sector on war footing basis for overcoming the serious loadshedding and high price of electricity.

The rally was addressed by veteran trade union leader Khurshid Ahmed and other trade union representatives. Khurshid Ahmed, general secretary of the Union, urged the government to adopt progressive national economic and reliance policy and impose tax upon elite and capitalists and feudal lords and divert these resources for developing cheaper source of the electricity.

 He demanded that the government should hold dialogue with the union instead of privatization unilaterally.