Kerala protests centre’s demand to split electricity board

September 17th, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghThiruvananthapuram, Sep 17 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said Wednesday that his government will call an all party meeting and a trade unions’ meeting to discuss the central government’s demand to immediately split the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) into four different companies.”My cabinet that met Aug 21 had decided to ask for a year’s time so as to see that the KSEB is retained as a public sector entity,” the chief minister said.

“But now the Centre has written to us that there cannot be any more extension. This attitude of the Centre is not correct and we strongly express our protest,” Achuthanandan told reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting.

The central government’s demand is that KSEB be divided into four companies to deal with general operations, transmission, distribution and marketing.

Achuthanandan lashed out at the Centre for following the American model of reforms which has seen several public sector undertakings being wound up.

“When, we the Left were supporting the Manmohan Singh government, they were kept on tenterhooks to see that the American model of reforms does not take place in India. But after our withdrawal of support they are going at break neck speed to implement the American model,” said Achuthanandan.

He said his government requires a year’s time to evolve a proper plan of action that will ensure that KSEB is retained in the public sector.

“Didn’t you all read in today’s newspapers regarding what is happening in America. It has been proved beyond doubt that only the public sector will survive. When the Congress-led government asked for time then the Centre gave them, now we are asking for a year. It is bad that they have not agreed,” said Achuthanandan.

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