By Satyajit Kumar Sharmah Thakur
In the world out of the strenuous research works done in different fields, most serious research to find out substitutes of petroleum resource has become most imperative since that tural resource is subject to depletion and if such a situation prevails in future without any viable substitutes of petroleum resource, we can easily imagine what will be the consequence because supply of petroleum resource is limited in quantity. So, most economic and reasoble exploration of that tural resource and filly most economic consumption of the outputs must get topmost priority. Here both the government and the people of the country are having respective roles to play. The people of the country in especial will have to be very vigilant and prudent because they are the ultimate consumers who are to suffer out of the eventuality arising out of such depletion. The question of taking decision to let the private sector companies to participate in the bidding otherwise, without inviting bidding, if the oilfields are given to ONGC and/or OIL should be considered in the light of the future of the people and the state in right earnest. To me it should be a professiol decision even though taken by the executive. We have noticed that in the area of industrial development the outlook of the government is sometimes far from being professiol and it is also noticed that as the result of that, so many industries in Assam have disappeared from the map of state industries.
While Assam is famous for its petroleum resource, so many other tural resources are not available in Assam. More so, except for the industries based on its petroleum resource and tea gardens most of which are age-old with continued losses for years together in case of most of the tea gardens with consequential shrinkage of employment potential , Assam is unlike some industrially developed states of Assam. The owners of so many small tea gardens are in precarious conditions and are running their businesses with gross uncertainty of their viability in future. Government apathy is also very often one of the complaints. Some other industries like Assam Syntex Ltd., and the Pragbosimi Synthetics Ltd. were with accumulated colossal losses. These are however, few out of so many with such plights and ultimately they disappeared from the industrial map of Assam. However, regarding that arguments and counter –arguments are plenty in number, but the outcome is all known to us. The petroleum based industries being the economic backbone of the state of Assam, have paved the way for substantial employment generation. Therefore, consideration of utilization of petroleum resources of Assam cannot be on the same footing with so many other industrially developed states of India. Therefore, we must look into this aspect very judiciously, prudently and reasobly considering its most significant role in the state’s economy. We cannot immediately me any industry other than petroleum based industries, running on profit in Assam even though formation of committee after committee aiming at industrial development and commitment of the Government for industrial development are very regular phenome with preparedness of the government at the same time with excuses for fiasco of those contemplations.
For exploration of the petroleum resource, since very long both ONGC and OIL have been discharging their duties and responsibilities in Assam with deep-rooted belief amongst the people of the state that those two concerns with the Central Government’s direct role in them, take great care of the people’s interest inclusive of employment opportunities and other social responsibilities. Except for those the company is legally bound to do, the other social responsibilities, in case of a private sector company, are basically at its whims only.
I am with my experience of doing magement for more than 15 years in private sector. Within that, experience in both manufacturing sector and fincial sectors is there. With my that experience, I can tell assertively that I do not find any reason of any private sector company’s interest in bidding for the oilfields the government has taken initiatives for the private sector to bid for, unless those oilfields are profitable. A private sector company thrives on its own profit. Profit-making is its main motto with emphasis on achievement of budgeted production and productivity. It ploughs back profit for diversification, merger, amalgamation and purchase of other company etc. besides squaring up capital and revenue expenditures of the existing company. The companies of private sector are so much in pursuit of profit that not to speak of a non-performer, in so many companies a person of magement not capable of performing up to the set targets for him, has to submit his resigtion on his own before the corporate magement tells him to resign and in case of him who reports to the Board of Directors, resigtion has to be submitted to the Board of Directors. A non-performer, therefore, resigns before he is sacked by the corporate magement or the Board of Directors as the case may be. Manpower magement of the private sector industries is such that those industries like to go for maximum ratiolization of manpower resulting in shrinkage of manpower necessity which is also a relevant fear in the minds of the people of Assam and hence, that issue must also be properly addressed.
Not to speak of the fincial strength, the human resources of ONGC and OIL consist of top-notch professiols in all areas of magement. Supporting the decision of inviting tenders for 12 oilfields in Assam, as published by ONGC and OIL in the Dainik Agradoot of 18th July, 2016, in point no.1 it has been mentioned that ONGC and OIL are having technical and commercial problems. But in the same publication another point contains that both ONGC and OIL can be parties to the bidding . As already mentioned we know the role of the central Government in both ONGC and OIL. In view of those contentions, so far the first point of technical insufficiency of ONGC and OIL is concerned, to me, any comment challenging the capabilities of those top-notch professiols of ONGC and OIL is nothing but an insult to those professiols and their magements. We feel pride in mentioning that in the Board of Directors of OIL professiols like Mr. Utpal Bora, who is a product of ISM, Dhanbad and Mrs. Rupsikha Saikia Bora a Chartered Accountant of intertiol acclaim, are there who hailed from Assam. Moreover, the Board of Directors of ONGC consists of so many professiols with the Chairman cum Maging Director being a product of both the ICWAI and the ICSI. Marketing has its own strength in both the organizations with presence of top-notch professiols of that discipline. Moreover, demands for the output are also of escalating trend. The volumes of profit earned by ONGC and OIL are also very lucrative wherefrom the government being substantial equity share capital contributor through equity share-holding, gets handsome dividend every year besides oil royalty enjoyed by the state government .
It is therefore, suggested that considering the interests of all concerned mainly the interest of the people of the state and the economic conditions of the state with long term vision, let ONGC and OIL come out first of all to express their stands on the issue with convincing replies to the people of the state with participation of people expert in that line. We want elaboration of the difficulties of ONGC and OIL. If they are having any problem, I suggest that the same should be discussed threadbare to come out with solutions and I am too sure that in such a situation, solutions will not evade us. Subject to arriving at a convincing outcome to the people only, I think a decision in the matter should be taken accordingly lest there is every likelihood that the state and the people of the state will suffer immensely with continued effect out of such a decision. The government should keep in mind that while the decision should be professiol as already dwelt on, the issue being sentimental also at the same time for the people of Assam, due importance should be given to that also. If the government is very sincere and thinking well of the people of the state, it should come to a logical, reasoble, fair and justified conclusion instead of taking a decision ignoring the vox populi in the state of Assam.