ONGC move on Assam Asset hailed

GUWAHATI, Feb 12 – The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) have welcomed the announcement of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGCL) on its Assam Asset.

The ONGCL today said, in the form of news-paper advertisement, ‘it has been decided that there shall be no creation of subsidiary company for ONGC operations in the State of Assam’ by separating Assam Asset from ONGC. It also stated that the ‘ONGC Management continued to commit its total support in terms of resources, including manpower, finance, technical expertise etc’ to the Assam Asset.

The ONGCL, however, said in its advertisement that in a bid to improve productivity in Assam Asset through appropriate changes in the decision making process and a more focused approach with improved profes-sional support to local manage-ment, were under consider-ation. One of the options examin-ed was creating a wholly owned subsidiary of Assam Asset (like ONGC Videsh Limited).

It needs mention here that several organizations of the State have been resorting to agitation protesting the reported move the Union Petroleum Ministry to convert the ONGCL Assam Asset into a subsidiary company. They expressed the apprehension that this would pave the way for privatisation of the potential Assam Asset.

The Sivasagar district unit of the AASU launched a series of agitational programme including a 96-hour ONGC bandh in protest against the reported move. The AASU said in a statement here today that it would continue to keep a strict vigil on the functioning of the ONGCL and demanded that the ONGCL should concentrate more on increasing its Assam Asset production.

It has also postponed its proposed February 16 meeting on the issue, said the students’ body in its statement.

AGP general secretary Sarbananda Sonowal said in a statement here today that his party considers the announcement made by the ONGCL today as a positive development. This announcement has been viewed by the AGP as a step taken in the right direction honouring the sentiment of the people of Assam, Sonowal said.

The AGP recently gheraoed the ONGCL headquarters at Nazira in protest against the reported move. Sonowal said that the agitations launched by the AGP and other organizations like the AASU, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad, All Assam Tai Ahom Students’ Union, CPI, BJP, Telpathar Sangram Samiti, ONGCL Employees’ Union, Small and Heavy Vehicle Owners’ Association, among others, have made the Government of India relent.

Sonowal also thanked the above organizations, State’s intellecturals and media for their bold stand on the issue. He also demanded that the ONGCL should put its best effort to enhance Assam Asset’s crude and natural gas production for overall industrial growth of Assam

Besides, he said, the ONGCL should also taken up public welfare programmes to meet the hopes and aspirations of the people of the State.