GUWAHATI, Oct 27 - Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP from Kaliabor constituency Gaurav Gogoi has called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) is not privatised.
The Congress parliamentarian has written a letter to Modi in this regard. In the letter, Gogoi stated that the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) holds 61.55 per cent share in NRL.
“The privatisation of BPCL will subsequently result in the privatisation of NRL. This privatisation is being opposed on numerous grounds by the general public in Assam,” Gogoi stated. He added that 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 Rajiv Gandhi, that led to the birth of the Numaligarh Refinery. 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. Finally, 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,” Gogoi said.
He added, “... NRL has also initiated environmental conservation in the region by producing friendly (sic) fuel and adopting environmentally friendly technology. NRL has also committed to several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, including infrastructure development, rural electrification, and promotion of arts and literature. With a track record of continuous growth and socio-economic development, NRL has been conferred the statue of Mini Ratna PSU.”
He said NRL privatisation would not only hurt the “local sentiment and shared history of Assam” but would also render several local people jobless and insecure.
“For all these reasons, this privatisation has been opposed by the Assamese population and I support the sentiments of the people. I request you to halt the privatisation of Numaligarh Refinery and kindly protect the interests of the local Assamese populace,” Gogoi stated.