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Congress, AASU oppose privatization

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, June 25: The Central government’s move to lease out 12 oil fields of Assam to private investors has raised the hackles of the Congress and All Assam Students Union.

Opposing the move, AASU president Dipanka Kumar th and general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said the government did not take a public opinion before going ahead with the plan.

“Instead of privatizing the oil fields, the government should have supported OIL and ONGC in developing them,” the AASU said, demanding withdrawal of the decision.

Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan had claimed exploiting these small fields required micro-level magement and specific technologies, making it uttractive for the two public sector oil giants to invest in.

Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also slammed the Central government’s decision, alleging it will deprive Assam of its rights. “In Gujarat, the government had handed over the oil fields to the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation through a notification. But in Assam, they are giving the oil fields to private parties. Like Gujarat, Assam government had formed a company – Assam Hydro Carbon Corporation Limited – in 2006. Why doesn’t the government hand over the oil fields to this company?” Gogoi asked, claiming that if the State government-owned company operates these fields, the State could earn more royalty and revenue.

“Why is Gujarat’s interest given priority and Assam deprived every time?” he questioned.

Taking a dig at Prime Minister rendra Modi’s foeign policy citing the failure to get NSG membership for India, Gogoi also questioned Modi’s silence on Subramanium Swamy’s allegations against Fince minister Arun Jaitley.

The veteran Congress leader also claimed that the newly-floated platform of the BJP and its allies NEDA is taking up the same issues which he had been raising since long years, including non-release of Central funds to the tune of several crores.