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AITUC Raises Flag Against Plans To Privatise Oil And Gas Blocks Of ONGC And OIL

PW Bureau

All India Trade Union Congress has said that since there will not be any Lok Sabha session to debate and examine such a serious proposal, the government has no moral right to take a call on the matter New Delhi: Calling it a "quid pro quo" by the government to corporate, a central trade union on Monday denounced the plan to privatise 97 oil and gas fields discovered by state-owned oil firms. The All India Trade Union believes that since there will not be any Lok Sabha session to examine such a proposal, the government has no moral right to make a call on the matter. "Reports have appeared in the press that a Group of Ministers-GoM- (headed by the Finance Minister and assisted by Ministers of Coal, Commerce, Power and Petroleum) has received and approved in its very first and last meeting, plans to auction 97 'small' oil and gas fields discovered by ONGC and OIL, the navratna public sector companies, to private corporates," the AITUC claimed. A cursory reading of the report shows that the proposal originated in the Prime Minister's Office, followed by a bureaucratic panel, headed by the CEO of the NITI Aayog and thereafter, rubber-stamped by the GoM, the union said in a statement.

"Reports have appeared in the press that a Group of Ministers-GoM- (headed by the Finance Minister and assisted by Ministers of Coal, Commerce, Power and Petroleum) has received and approved in its very first and last meeting, plans to auction 97 'small' oil and gas fields discovered by ONGC and OIL, the navratna public sector companies, to private corporates,"

Even big fields that would be left for Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL) to run will be burdened with the severe conditions of showing enhanced production profile, which will also be taken away from them and handed over to the private parties if not adhered to, the union said. The AITUC observed that the suggestions by NITI Aayog also say that the new private entities must not be charged for the past expenses of discovery or development. The oil sector’s workers unions have been agitating against such moves including the strike action. They were assured by the concerned managements that no such move is being made, it added. Move a “quid pro quo” Now that there will not be any session of the Lok Sabha to vet such proposals, the Modi government has no moral right to take such decisions, the union alleged, adding that this move is more like a parting gift by the Modi government to the Corporates in return for the hospitality of the past five years – a quid pro quo!.