Assam Cong flays Centre’s move on FDI in oil PSUs
The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee has vehemently opposed the Cabinet note seeking inter-ministerial views on a proposal to allow up to 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) under automatic route in oil and natural gas public sector undertakings (PSUs).
Reacting sharply against the Union commerce and industry ministry’s draft Cabinet note, Assam PCC president Ripun Bora stated that “by such a proposal the BJP government is all out to sell the nation’s resources.”
Only 49 per cent FDI is at present permitted through the automatic route in public sector oil and natural gas companies with no dilution of domestic equity in the existing PSUs.
But now a new clause has been proposed to be added that would allow 100 per cent FDI in PSUs where an ‘in-principle’ approval for disinvestment of a PSU has been granted by the government.
The government is already privatising Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and is selling its entire 52.98 per cent stake in the company.
Expression of Interest has already been floated by giant oil conglomerates such as Adani Group’s Vedanta along with two other bidders.
“Under such circumstances the day is not far when PSUs in Assam like Oil India Limited and ONGC will face foreign disinvestment threat. Where is the guarantee that Assam’s resources will not be sold out to foreign companies? Bora asked.
(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)
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