Golaghat: Various social organisations and the employees are protesting against the Centre’s reported move to privatise BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) which is a major stakeholder in Numaligarh Refinery Limited located in Assam’s Golaghat district.
Speaking to media the protesters said, “The Indian Government since the start of economic liberalisation in 1991 has been selling off Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in the name of privatisation. These undertakings have been contributing in economic progress and nation building.”
“We have learnt that the Government of India has decided to sell off five PSUs including the BPCL to private parties. We the union of BPCL strongly condemn this and protest against this move by the government,” said one of the protesters.
The protesters argued that NRL was the result of a long struggle of the Assamese people. “As far as BPCL is concerned the Numaligarh refinery was born out of a six-year agitation that resulted in the martyrdom of 855 Assamese youth. The objective of setting up the Numaligarh refinery was to strengthen the economy of Assam and to generate employment. BPCL is the major shareholder in Numaligarh refinery with 61.65 per cent. So, the moment BPCL is privatized, NRL will have to share the same fate. There are over 1000 permanent and 2000 temporary employees and hundreds of other involved in NRL,” said the protesters.
“The government has been selling these PSUs to foreign companies and other companies at a lower cost. This has resulted in issues like unemployment and other problems. These selling off of national resources have led to today’s economic slowdown and low employment generation,” said the protesters.