NEW DELHI, Oct 18 - The proposed disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and consequent privatisation of the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) is in the agenda of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry.
Announcing this, Congress Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi said that he was successful in raising the issue at the first meeting of the parliamentary panel here today.
�The matter has been included in the agenda and it will be subsequently discussed at length,� he said, adding that top officials of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) were present at the meeting.
Bordoloi said that according to his information, a Cabinet note regarding disinvestment of BPCL has been circulated and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is likely to take a decision on it in November.
Briefing media, Bordoloi laid the onus of saving the NRL is on Chief Minister Sonowal, stressing that he has to exert pressure on Centre to dissuade it from selling the NRL. �Merely writing letters will not serve the purpose,� said the Lok Sabha MP. The MP suggested that NRL, which is the outcome of the Assam Accord, can also be saved if the government exercised the option like purchasing of 51 per cent stake of BPCL in NRL by the Government of India.
The NRL has equity participation of BPCL (61.65 per cent), Oil India Limited (26 per cent) and Government of Assam (12.35 per cent).
Bordoloi further suggested that OIL may increase its stake in NRL to 51 per cent and Government of Assam may also do likewise and increase its stake to 26 per cent.
He also suggested launching of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with similar shareholding pattern as BPCL before privatisation. The company can transfer its entire stake in NRL to the SPV. The SPV will own 61.65 per cent, OIL 26 per cent and Government of Assam 12.35 per cent. This is a feasible option without any cash outgo from the Government of India.
Many of the projects identified in Government of India�s Northeast Hydro Carbon Vision 2030 are linked to the expansion of NRL. Some of the projects identified in the vision document are developmental in nature and some of the projects have very high strategic importance to India, like Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline for supply of diesel to Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, referring to the recent statement by the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of NEEPCO, the MP said that he still stands by his statement. He claimed that illegal rat hole mining is going on, resulting in heavy pollution of Kopili River. �I challenge the Chief Minister to send a third party delegation to survey the area and verify whether illegal mining is going on or not,� he said.