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Employees oppose privatisation of ‘Assam Accord Refinery’

A file photo of the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd.

A file photo of the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd.   | Photo Credit: Adeel Halim

Numaligarh Refinery Employees’ Union writes to Assam Assembly Speaker seeking a resolution against the Centre’s bid.

The Numaligarh Refinery Employees’ Union on Wednesday wrote to Assam Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami seeking an Assembly resolution against the Centre’s bid to disinvest Numaligarh Refinery Limited via Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), its parent company.

The union said privatising the refinery, referred to as NRL, would have been logical had it been a loss-making entity. “Since its establishment in 1993 till 2018-19 fiscal, NRL has paid more than Rs. 30,000 crore to the National and State exchequer, contributing immensely to the country’s growth,” the union’s general secretary Binod Gogoi said.

In a memorandum to Mr. Goswami, the union sought an Assembly resolution against NRL’s privatisation. It also asked the Assam government to strive for merging NRL with the Indian Oil Corporation Limited by letting the petroleum major take over the refinery’s 61.65% share from BPCL.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and other civic organisations have been protesting against the bid to privatise NRL, popularly called the Assam Accord Refinery. Setting up the refinery was among the clauses of the 1985 accord that ended a violent six-year agitation for ejecting illegal migrants from the State.

“We don’t want some private company take over NRL which was built on the blood of 855 martyrs of the agitation and is thus high on sentimental value for the people of Assam,” AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath said.

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2020 10:47:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/employees-oppose-privatisation-of-assam-accord-refinery/article29720268.ece

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