No end in sight for NRL strike

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The Numaligarh Refinery Employees’ Union (NREU) has demanded the BJP-led central government to retain the public sector undertaking (PSU) status of NRL after reports of proposed disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) have come out in the open.

The Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) – a joint venture between Bharat Petroleum, Oil India and Govt of Assam. As of 2014, it had a capacity of 3 million metric tonnes per year. 

Concerned about these developments, BPCL-NRL employees have been holding protest demonstrations, warning the government that the move would lead to “private monopolies” in the oil and petroleum sector, even as global players are already eyeing the Indian petroleum market.

“There is a concern and fear among officers on the interest and business model that private players would be adopting. We even fear that post-privatisation, there may be policy decisions that may impact refinery operations and job security of officers,” NRL employees stated.

BPCL has four refineries located in Assam, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra with a combined capacity to convert 38.3 million tonnes of crude oil into fuel. It has 15,078 petrol pumps and 6,004 LPG distributors. The government has 53.23% stake in the company and 25% is held by public shareholders.

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