Thursday, September 29, 2022

BPCL privatisation: In a letter, Kerala CM urges PM to act in national interest

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New Delhi: In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged the PM to stop the privatisation of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), saying that it would be in national interest to retain the company in the public sector. In the letter dated October 17, Vijayan said, “I request you to kindly issue appropriate directions to give up the move to disinvest BPCL, and retain it under the present ownership pattern, in the interest of all the stakeholders and above all in national interest.”

‘BPCL privatisation will make Rs 25,000-cr investment plan uncertain’

The Kerala CM said that the state has proposed to set up a petrochemical park adjacent to BPCL on the assurance that the feed stock from the refinery will be made available. “With the initiation of the disinvestment process, the proposed investment of around Rs 25,000 crores will become uncertain. The entrepreneurs who have come forward to invest are faced with the question whether the feedstock from the refinery will be available or not and if available, what would be the cost of the same,” the CM said.

Alt= In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged the PM to stop BPCL privatisation

‘The PSU has been making profit all along’

While noting that the initiation of the disinvestment process has caused severe anxiety among general public in Kerala, the Kerala CM said, “The government of Kerala and the civil society have a genuine concern that the disinvestment of BPCL will not be in the interest of more than 13,000 persons directly employed and on contract employment. The company has been making profit all along and has made more than Rs 50,000 crores of investment for the last five years. BPCL has also been undertaking CSR activities in line with its commitment to the state of Kerala.”Alt= In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged the PM to stop BPCL privatisation

The backdrop

The letter said that the Kerala government was the promoter of the erstwhile Kochi refinery with 5 percent stake. When it was taken over by BPCL, it was agreed that the government of Kerala will have equity participation in BPCL with one Director on the board allotted to the government of Kerala. “Our association with BPCL extends beyond the board meetings,” the letter said.

(PSU Watch– India's Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is now on Telegram. Join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram and stay updated)

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