By Devabrata Dutta
GUWAHATI: The Government of Assam to play a strategic role in terms of maintaining the Public Sector status of Numaligarh Refinery Limited as it has increased its stake said chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today at a press conference here.
The Government of Assam has raised its stake to 26 per cent in NRL from the earlier level of 12.35 per cent.
“The government has been thinking of increasing its stake to a certain level in NRL so that no further disinvestment could take place without our concern. So we roughly calculated and concluded at a point that if our government holds a 26 per cent stake, then we could play a very important role,” said CM Sarma in the press meet at Administrative Staff College.
The Assam Government has made a total investment of Rs 2,187 crore, which is the highest ever in history, by the Assam government in any PSU, in NRL. The stakes were bought by Oil India Limited on behalf of the government in March and the Assam government to reclaim it with three installments.
Finance Minister of Assam Ajanta Neog said, “We have already released Rs 500 crore in March itself. Today we will hand over another cheque of Rs 500 crore and the remaining amount will be cleared by September this year.”
Sarma added further, “It was a golden opportunity. Had we lost it today then we would have been answerable to our future generation after 25 to 50 years.”
Chandra Mohan Patowary, Minister of Industry & Commerce, asserted in the press conference, “The NRL was a result of Assam Accord. It’s our own achievement and hence keep it to ourselves. CM Sarma, who was the Minister of Finance at that time, made a decision of this huge investment and kept NRL as a PSU without going into the hands of private investors.”
CM Sarma had also thanked Prime Minister Modi saying that it was PM Modi who made the decision to keep NRL a standalone PSU, which was not an easy decision to make, and its stakes will be with OIL.
CM Sarma also said that OIL has become a crucial partner of Assam in its journey of development and the government to tie up with OIL in the upcoming 5 years with more investment plans.
“Without OIL the future of Assam is bleak,” asserted CM Sarma.
Explaining different aspects of investment in NRL Sarma informed, “Crude pipeline from Paradeep, Odisha will substantially raise the capacity of the three refineries in Assam. Earlier, Assam’s crude oil used to be sent to Barauni, but now 6 MMT crude will come to Assam.”
Sarma also expecting a minimum of Rs 500 crore turn out from The Assam Government’s investment in NRL and hopeful to recover its invested money in four to five years.
“It’s a historic day for Assam today,” claimed Sarma.
Now OIL holds 61.65 per cent share in NRL, which was sold to them by Handle of Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. as disinvestment took place, and makes OIL the major controlling party.
Support our brand of fearless and investigative journalism: