SRINAGAR: Another bottleneck has been removed from the process of turning one division of the Power Development Department (PDD) into a new government-run company, Tradeco. The bottleneck was coming from PDD engineers who were reluctant to move into the new company because it was taking away perks that they were getting in PDD. Now the J&K government has accepted their demands.
“The rights of the employees will be fully protected and they would be fully governed by JK Service Rules including SRO 381 of 1981 and would be on deputation basis to Tradeco which would be restricted to 100 employees at present,” read the minutes of the meeting held on September 24 under the chairmanship of Commissioner Secretary PDD.
The unbundling of PDD into four companies – Jammu & Kashmir State Power Transmission Company Limited (SPTCL), State Power Trading Company Limited (Tradeco), Distribution Company Limited, and Kashmir Power Distribution Company Limited – was proposed in 2012 by the Omar Abdullah-led government. In the Mehbooba Mufti-led government that followed, finance minister Haseeb Drabu assured in one of his budget speeches that the government would unbundle the department “without prejudicing the service conditions of any of the employees.”
Despite the assurance, PDD engineers remained reluctant to move into the new companies. This forced the government to restrict their transfer only to Tradeco for the time being.
The minutes of the meeting also said that the government has restricted the unbundling of PDD into the trading company (Tradeco) only, and not the rest.
“Commissioner Secretary (PDD) in unequivocal terms stated that the unbundling process was limited to creation of Trading Company only, and the government is not going for unbundling of Transmission and Distribution Sections. The question of privatisation does not arise,” read the minutes of the meeting.
“Commissioner Secretary to Government, Power Development Department, further assured that in case the government proposes to go ahead with the unbundling of Transmission and Distribution sectors at a future date, all the stakeholders would be taken on board and all the issues shall be discussed with them before giving a final shape to any such proposal,” the meeting decided.