AITUC condemns plan to auction oil blocks
The trade body says the govt has no moral right to take such decisions
New Delhi: A central trade union on Monday condemned the plan to privatise 97 oil and gas fields discovered by state-run oil firms, terming it as a "quid pro quo" by the government to corporates.
The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) argued that the government has no moral right to take such decisions now as there will not be any session of the Lok Sabha to vet such proposals.
"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 navaratna 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. The union said that even big fields that will be left for ONGC and OIL to operate, will be saddled with stringent conditions of showing enhanced production profile , which, if not adhered to, will also be taken away from them and handed over to the private parties.
The AITUC noted that the NITI Aayog recommendations also say that the new private players should not be charged for the past expenses of discovery or development!
It needs to be stated here that the workers unions in the oil sector 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.
The Modi government has no moral right to take such decisions now that there will not be any session of the Lok Sabha to vet such proposals. This seems more like a parting gift by Modi Government to the Corporates in return for the hospitality of the past five years - a quid pro quo!, it alleged.
The AITUC called upon the people of India and petroleum workmen unions and officers' associations to resist this.