JORHAT, June 28 - Addressing a press conference at the Jorhat Press Club today, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi strongly argued that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas should give the permission to explore oil and natural gas to the State�s own agencies like the Assam Gas Company Limited, Assam Hydrocarbon and Energy Company Limited and the Assam Power Generation Company Limited at the 12 marginalised oilfields instead of opening their auction process for global bidders.
�I strongly oppose the Centre�s move in this regard. If the State-owned agencies are granted the authority to explore oil and natural gas in those fields, they will be able to earn more revenue. The State needs more revenue for the development activities,� said Gogoi.
Asked whether the State�s companies are technically fit for the exploration of oil and natural gas, the former Chief Minister categorically said that all the three agencies are capable of doing exploration in the marginalised oilfields of the State as they have the required technical equipment and sufficient manpower.
Gogoi also said that he supported the bandh call which was announced by various organisations to protest the Centre�s move to auction the 12 oilfields.
The former Chief Minister said that a regional party like the AGP is yet to stage a strong protest against the decision of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, though the move was going to affect the economic interests of the State.
Asked whether he was happy with the work of the new Government in the last one month, Gogoi said he cannot judge a new Government only in one month. �I cannot judge a new Government only in one month. I will have to wait at least for one year to judge the Government. However, the new Government�s decision to appoint teachers and the announcement of Majuli district are good decisions,�he said.