People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 08

February 20, 2005

BHEL Workers Oppose Govt Move


THE Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) workers all over the country responded to the call of the CITU to protest the reported move of the government to offload 10 per cent of its shares in this Navratna PSU. On January 24, 2005, when the union minister of state for heavy industries, Santosh Mohan Dev visited the Hardwar plant of BHEL, hundreds of workers held a spontaneous demonstration at the initiative of BHEL Kamgar Union and CFFP Shramik Union, both affiliated to the CITU. A delegation of union leaders met the minister and handed over a memorandum demanding immediate stoppage of disinvestments in BHEL.


On January 27, 2005 almost all the BHEL plants and establishments at Hardwar, Bhopal, Jhansi, Jagadishpur, Tiruchirapally, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ranipet witnessed spontaneous demonstrations by the workers against this move of the government. Hundreds of telegrams/faxes have been sent to prime minister and the concerned minister denouncing the retrograde move.


Despite clear stipulation in the CMP of the UPA government at the centre against disinvestment of profit-making PSUs, the so called reform savvy UPA ministers have chosen to inch towards privatisation of the Navaratna PSUs in a phased manner through disinvestments of government equity in tranches. It is noteworthy that around 33 per cent shares of BHEL are already in private hands and further sale of 10 per cent shares will reduce the government equity holding to around 57 per cent. That maeans just another round of offloading will lead to privatisation of BHEL. The trade union movement opposed and condemned such move vehemently.


The CITU cautioned the BHEL workers not to be complacent and prepare for bitter struggles to defend the public sector entity of BHEL and stop further dilution of government equity. (INN)