DIBRUGARH, March 7 - The Dibrugarh District Congress Committee (DDCC) has accused the present ruling dispensation at Dispur and at the Centre of �selling Assam�s resources to outsiders� in the name of ushering in poribartan (change), which actually, the party claimed, was selling the rights of the indigenous people to foreigners.
The district unit of the Congress took out a protest march from Rajiv Bhawan to the office of the Deputy Commissioner here on Monday and demanded withdrawal of the �small oil field�s bidding and exploration rights to private sector undertakings of national and international exploration companies�.
The protest march was led by the office-bearers of the district body, including former Ministers Pranati Phukan and Atuwa Munda. Former Union Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar joined the protestors near the Deputy Commissioner�s office. The members raised slogans and staged protest in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner for about 30 minutes. They subsequently dashed off a memorandum to the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas through the district administration.
The Congress party in its memorandum stated that the 12 small oilfields, which has a resource potential of about Rs 17,000 crore, would not only help roll about Rs 4,000 crore into Assam�s economy, but will also create jobs and add to the State�s revenue from oil royalty.
If the exploration is done by the State-run agencies, possibilities exist of generating employment in large numbers in terms of skilled and non-skilled manpower. But once it is privatised, the interest of the private bidders across the globe will be on minimum exploration investment at minimum manpower utilisation, with greater capital gain. Hence, the profitability will go to the stakeholders of the bidder organisation, the Dibrugarh District Congress Committee mentioned.
Former Union Minister Ghatowar said that exploration of the oil fields must be undertaken either by the State-run agencies or Central oil exploration companies just as it is being done in Gujarat, where the State-run Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation is handed over the oil fields there.
The Congress party also condemned the State and the Centre for unchecked price hike of commodities, especially in regard to the price of LPG cylinders, and for resolving to stop supply of subsidised rations to the State�s plantations.