Guwahati: The Numaligarh Oil Refinery Tanker Association carried out protest demonstrations at Numaligarh Refinery Marketing Terminal (NRMT) in Assam’s Golaghat district on Friday demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government to retain Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) as a public-sector undertaking (PSU).
The development comes after the Central government on Monday cleared disinvestment in five public-sector undertakings (PSUs), including Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) that owns 61.65% in NRL. While Oil India owns 26%, Assam government owns 12.35% in the refinery.
Holding placards like ‘stop privatisation in NRL’ and ‘save NRL, save the pride of Assam’ the protestors indulged in sloganeering against PM Narendra Modi and Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
In a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Numaligarh Refinery Employees’ Union (NREU), Assam along with BPCL unions across the country requested the Centre to stops its proposed plan.
“Recent media report has created serious doubts in the minds of BPCL employees that GOI [government of India] might be thinking for the disinvestment/privatization of BPCL that needs to be clarified by the government,” it said.
Noting that there is no alternative to BPCL in the field of the oil sector and it is the backbone of Indian economy, it said that disinvestment/privatisation of BPCL “may derail country’s economy that may put oil security at a great risk”.
Observing that the PSU is a profit-making organisation, they requested the prime minister to stop all government’s plan regarding “disinvestment/privatisation/stake sell of govt. in the larger interest of the country.”