PSU oil unions oppose BPCL divestment

MUMBAI: Employees associations of state oil companies opposed on Saturday the planned strategic sale of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), stating that it can generate revenue for the government, but its long-term impact will be adverse.

The government plans to sell its majority stake in the oil trader, which can help it raise more than Rs 70,000 million. A senior official of the Ministry of Finance had said this week that the sale could be deferred for the next fiscal year.

The Association of Officers of the Maharatna Confederation (COMCO) and the PSU Officers of the Petroleum Federation (FOPO) held a joint press conference on Saturday.

The two associations claimed that selling BPCL will result in a loss, since it is valued at 9.75 lakh crore, while government ownership is 53.29 percent, so you will get a maximum of Rs 7.50.00 crore.

BPCL is the nation's most efficient for-profit company, which has been giving Rs 17 billion rupees annually since the last five years, he said Amit Kumar , senior official of ONGC.

We ask the government to review the decision of disinvestment of BPCL," he said adding the disinvestment will be a short-term gain but a long-term loss.

If the government wishes, it can privatize or divest its participation in other public sector companies whose performance is poor, he said, adding that it will be interesting to see which private company takes care of those UPMs.

The energy sector is considered strategically important, and the privatization of a public sector company in this sector is a threat to the country's security, Anil Medhe of BPCL said.

Mukul Kumar, FOPO coordinator, said that BPCL is the most professional company among HPCL, IOC and that employees are surprised by the government's decision.