The Numaligarh Refinery Employees’ Union (NREU) has sought intervention from the MPs from Assam to retain the public sector undertaking (PSU) status of NRL after reports of proposed disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) have come out in the open.
BPCL holds 61.65 per cent share of NRL.
” We have come to know from various reports in the media on the proposed disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL). As a responsible trade union, we strongly oppose disinvestment and privatization of the central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), particularly NRL,” said Binod Gogoi, general secretary of NREU.
NREU, the only recognized union of all permanent workmen of Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) located at upper Assam’s Golaghat district, has drawn the attention of all the MPs of the state appealing their urgent intervention with respect to the proposed privatization and disinvestment of NRL.
In this regard they have already submitted a memorandum to Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and are going to submit the memorandum to all the other MPs of the state and chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal urging them to take necessary steps to retain the public sector undertaking (PSU) status of NRL.
“In case of any extreme special circumstances arise, the NREU also urges all members of both houses of parliament, to take all necessary steps so that NRL can be merged with IOCL to restore its PSU status” Gogoi said.
“NRL, being a subsidiary of BPCL, will automatically go to private companies after disinvestment of BPCL which holds 61.65 % of share of NRL, to which we strongly protest.
“All of us are well aware of the fact that NRL also known as accord refinery which was set up as per outcome of the historic Assam accord of 1985 which was signed after six-year-long Assam agitation,” Gogoi said.
He said no one can deny the fact that it symbolizes the sentiments and emotions of every individuals of the state.
Gogoi further said NRL, from its first commercial production to the last financial year, has paid more than Rs.30,000 crore to the national and state exchequer and thus NRL immensely contributing to the economy and growth of the nation as well as the socio economic development of the region.
“Today it becomes most promising Mini Ratna Industry in the country is known as rising energy of east,” Gogoi said.
After the western offshore, Assam has the highest share of crude oil reserve in the country and we had to struggle for a refinery but the recent move of the union government to hand over NRL to private sector will not be tolerated at any cost.
All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi said that if the government does not rollback the decision, the student body would launch massive agitation across the state.
“Majority of the employees of NRL are indigenous and skilled persons and NRL has showed the world that Assamese people technically so capable. Therefore we demand the BJP-led state government to convince the union government to move back from any such drastic step that may prove detrimental to the interest of the state,” Gogoi told Northeast Now.
“We will not stop from taking our demand to the people and launched a state wide agitation,” he said.
Debabrata Saikia, leader of opposition in the Assam assembly urged the people of Assam to strongly oppose the NRL’s privatisation move by the government.
“Narendra Modi-led union government is seemed to roll up their sleeves to leave no stone unturned to destroy the mixed economy created by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for the welfare of the people after the independence.
“Recently a committee formed by the union government decided to privatise BPCL, NEEPCO and several other public sector undertakings. The proposed privatisation of BPCL is going to prove detrimental to the resources and interests of Assam,” Saikia said in a statement.
“I am very much sure that the union government is conspiring to handover NRL to either Ambani or Adani group,” Saikia said.
“It is a government’s discretion. We will wait and watch. As of now there is no government directive as such or any kind of communication regarding the fate of NRL after the proposed disinvestment of BPCL,” said Madhuchanda Adhikari, deputy general manager (corporate communications) of NRL.