Assam's Nagaon MP Pradyut Bordoloi wrote a letter to Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Union Finance, opposed the planned privatization of BPCL and NRL.
Union Finance Minister Sitharaman declared on Saturday the sale of oil giant Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Air India by March of next year.
Through his letter to Sitharaman, Congress MP Bordoloi expressed "anguish about Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd's planned privatization and its effect on the Numaligarh Refinery in Assam."
It can be said that in the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), the BPCL holds 61.65 percent equity.
So, if the BPCL is privatized, the NRL created as a result of the sacrifices of 855 6-year-long Assam Movement martyrs will also go into private player's hands.
Bordoloi while stating that “the BPCL holds 61.65% equity” in the NRL said when if the ownership of the BPCL is transferred, “this will lead to the privatization by stealth of NRL as well”.
He said “NRL is not just any other refinery”.
It had seen “fructification of an institution after a prolonged agitation in Assam and was an outcome of the Assam Accord signed in 1985 between the Government of India and the people of Assam”.
“It is one of the finest refineries we have with major expansion plans in the pipelines as well,” the MP asserted.
He also said, “NRL serves strategic purposes with it being a major supplier of hydrocarbon products to India’s neighbouring countries as well.”
“It is an expression of the aspirations of the people of Assam and it has greatly contributed to the regional economy over the decades,” he added.
“Needless to say while the Government of Assam and another Assam based PSU, the Oil India Limited have owned the balance portion of the equity of the NRL, it would be a body blow to the people of Assam if you transfer the ownership of the NRL to a private player,” the Nagaon MP said.
Through the letter, Bordoloi requested the union finance minister to reconsider the “purported sale of the Numaligarh Refinery and this is something that the people of Assam and the North Eastern Region at large are firmly opposed to”.
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