Protest in Gujarat against power reforms

Vol 4, PW 21 (22 Nov 00) News in Brief

More than 15,000 employees of the Gujarat Electricity Board have staged an anti-reform rally in the capital Gandhinagar to protest state government plans to split it up into generation, distribution and transmission companies.

The 15th November rally coincides with a visit to Manila by state energy secretary Vijay Ranchan to negotiate a $500m loan from the Asian Development Bank to help restructure the GEB. Among its pre-conditions, the ADB wants Gujarat authorities to accelerate the introduction of a power sector reform bill, and to "unbundle" the state electricity board into three companies.

Unions at GEB oppose the reform programme.