Message by Shri Aji M.G., General Secretary Cochin Refineries Workers’ Association
(English translation of message in Malayalam)
The Expression of Interest issued by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management on March 7, 2020 for the sale of BPCL has been cancelled. Though more than one company had issued expressions of interest, the existing expression of interest was cancelled as part of the Covid wave that has come in various phases and on the basis of the changes that are taking place in the oil processing and supply sectors, the central government said.
The government has also made it clear that it will take decisions on privatisation of BPCL after assessing the situation. The central government’s decision to stop the sale of BPCL is a setback to the wrong disinvestment policy itself. The suspension of the sale of BPCL has sent a clear message that the central government’s policy of selling off all public sector undertakings should be subjected to reconsideration. Protests were held in Kochi against the sale of BPCL. This decision is also a victory of these agitations.
But we also think that the central government is likely to come forward with sale measures that protect corporate interests without completely withdrawing from the sale proceedings. There are moves to split and sell BPCL or to partially sell the shares. The move will be more anti-people than the decision currently withdrawn and an even greater loot of public property.
We are currently witnessing a situation where petrol pumps in private companies are shut down as they are not providing adequate products to petrol pumps due to non-increase in diesel and petrol prices. In this context, we request the central government not to come up with any further privatisation move.
On behalf of the Kochi refinery workers, I would like to express my gratitude to all the people and organisations who have participated in the subsequent agitations that have been announced that BPCL will not be allowed to sell.