The caretaker government in Pakistan has banned all union activities in the power sector. This decision includes public sector power companies involved in electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and sale. The government has applied the Pakistan Essential Service (Maintenance) Act 1952 to all power sector entities, including distribution companies, generation companies, and the National Transmission and Despatch Company. This means that all these companies have been declared as “essential services” to restrict union activities for a period of six months, extendable for another six months. The government is also working on divesting two distribution companies and has launched a campaign against electricity theft and non-payment of dues. The government believes that the unions could have a negative impact on the performance and finances of the distribution companies. The law allows authorities to order employees to remain in specific areas and avoid going into another area without prior approval, and disobedience can be tried summarily. The interior ministry demanded the application of the act to ensure uninterrupted operations of the organizations.
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