Gaurav Gogoi

Assam’s Kaliabor MP Gaurav Gogoi on Monday dashed off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing Centre’s alleged move to privatise the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL).

The MP requested the PM to halt the privatisation of the Numaligarh Refinery and protect the interests of the local Assamese populace.

The move of the Centre to privatise the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), which holds 61.65 per cent share of NRL, located in the Golaghat district, has been vehemently opposed by most of the organizations of Assam.

Also read: Cong MP Pradyut Bordoloi opposes NRL privatisation in parliamentary standing committee meeting

“The privatisation of the BPCL will subsequently result in the privatisation of NRL,” the MP said in his letter to the PM.

It may be mentioned that the NRL was the fallout of the sacrifices of 855 martyrs, who had sacrificed their lives during the six-year-old Assam Agitation from 1979-85.

Also read: Protesters shave off their heads opposing NRL privatisation

The privatisation is being opposed on numerous grounds by the general public in Assam.

“First, there is a rising public sentiment that has emerged against this move. This owes to the historic commitment made in the Assam Accord by the then Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi that led to the birth of the Numaligarh Refinery,” said Gogoi.

“There is therefore a regional value and history attached to NRL. Second, the refinery is a profit-making subsidiary. Since October 2000, NRL has paid more than Rs 30,000 crore to the national and state exchequer,” the MP added.

Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi claimed that “NRL has contributed significantly to the socio-economic development of the district of Golaghat”.

It has improved employment opportunities for the local youth, especially the indigenous populations, he added.

Additionally, NRL has initiated environmental conservation in the region by producing friendly fuels and adopting environmentally friendly technology.

NRL is also committed to several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives including infrastructure development, rural electrification and promotion of arts and literature, the MP mentioned in his letter to the PM.

“With a track record of continuous growth and socio-economic development, NRL has been conferred the status of Mini Ratna PSU,” said Gogoi.

“The privatisation of NRL would not only hurt the local sentiments and shared history of Assam, but would also render several local people jobless and insecure,” the MP claimed.

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