Lucknow, November 04: In protest against the Provident Fund (PF) scam, the Uttar Pradesh power employees have decided to boycott work for 48 hours on November 18 and 19. Earlier on Tuesday, electricity workers will hold protests across the state including the capital city Lucknow.
Power employees across the state are very angry about the PF scam. There was a meeting on Monday between the Vidyut Karmachari Sayunkt Sangharsh Samiti(VKSSS) and the Power Corporation Management, but according to the staff leaders, the talks were inconclusive.
The Sangharsh Samiti has welcomed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s announcement to conduct a probe by the CBI into the PF scam, but they do not agree with the talks held today with the Chairman of his Power Corporation regarding their demands. In such a situation, the Electricity Employees Joint Struggle Committee has decided to boycott work for 48 hours on November 18 and 19 and to protest on all district and project headquarters including Shakti Bhawan headquarters on November 5, against the provident fund scams and other problems.
In fact, in addition to the PF scam, the officials of the Sangharsh Samiti also want solutions from the Power Corporation management on several other demands including salary pay discrepancies, recruitment of vacancies, regularization of contractual workers and restoration of old pension. Committee officials say that the Power Corporation management in the PF case has itself admitted that the guidelines implemented by the trust are not being followed and the investment guidelines of the fund are being violated and more than 99 percent of the funds are invested only in three housing finance companies whereas more than 65 percent have been invested only in Dewan Housing Finance Limited. The management acknowledged that the three housing finance companies do not fall within the definition of scheduled banking and the investment made in them is against the rule and unsafe.
After the confession of the scam by the Power Corporation management, the Sangharsh Committee demanded that the UP government take responsibility for the payment of the entire amount invested in the UP Power Sector Employees Trust in the same manner as the state government at the time of dissolution of the UPRP in 2000, all the pension, Took all the responsibility of gratuity and retirement dues. In front of the Power Corporation management, the Sangharsh Committee also raised that the UP Power Sector Employees Trust should be reconstituted and have representatives of the Sangharsh Committee in it and complete details of all the funds invested in the trust should be given in writing to the Sangharsh Committee.
Besides, the Sangharsh Committee also said that instead of transferring GPF and CPF payments of employees to EPFO, the functioning of the trust should be made transparent and its minutes should be made public after its regular meeting. The Sangharsh Committee has again demanded from Chief Minister Yogi that the Chairman and Managing Director of Power Corporation be immediately removed for a fair investigation by the CBI in the PF case.
After unsuccessful negotiations with the Power Corporation management, the officials of the Sangharsh Samiti met in the evening and decided to protest. The meeting was attended by several convenors including committee convenor Shailendra Dubey, Rajiv Singh, AK Singh, Girish Pandey, Sadruddin Rana, Suhail Abid, Vipin Prakash Verma, Shashikant Srivastava and Mahendra Rai.
Meanwhile, Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has started an investigation into the PF scam. On the instructions of Director General of EOW, RP Singh, a team of police sealed the trust’s office located on the second floor of Shakti Bhavan itself last night. The special team of EOW questioned the former finance director Sudhanshu Dwivedi and former trust secretary Praveen Kumar Gupta who were arrested in this case for a long time today.