Fifty years ago, May 5, 1972 Archives

Demand to nationalise foreign oil companies

New Delhi, May 4: Demand for outright nationalisation of foreign oil companies and charges of corruption and bungling of high officials marked the Lok Sabha debate to-day on the demands for grants for the Ministry of Petroleum and Chemicals. References were made to “deep ties” between foreign oil companies and bureaucracy. The Government was asked not to “shield” guilty officials and was accused of “criminal complacency” in the vital sphere of the nation’s economy. The nationalisation demand was made on the ground that Anglo-American oil companies had been putting up “fancy” prices for crude and reportedly repatriating even substantial portions of their reserves. Mr. Dinen Bhattacharya (CPM-WB) initiating the debate, said that foreign monopoly companies had “clandestinely” increased their refining capacity over the years in a bid to subvert indigenous production. The Soviet Union had offered to supply crude at cheaper costs but the companies refused to refine crude from any other source than their own. Supporting the demand for nationalisation, Mr. Inderjit Gupta (CPM-WB) said that the foreign oil companies had drastically reduced employment particularly in the eastern region.

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