At the April 2012 launch of Guru Gobind Singh Refinery (GGSR) here, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had claimed that the project would provide 'direct' employment to 20,000 people. However, nearly two years later, the $4-billion (Rs 24,000-crore) project employs 922 people.
Sources claim that less than 20% (185) employees are from the state. In engineering jobs, the proportion of Punjabis drops to less than 5% (45). There are around 150 apprentices and only seven positions are held by women.
Bathinda deputy employment director Kuljit Singh Dullet said: "Data submitted to us by the refinery management till December 2013, show that it has 922 employees. No data has been submitted on employees from Punjab. The refinery has claimed that it has no vacancies."
Refinery assistant general manager (human resources) Ravi Yadav said: "I cannot give any information on the number of employees. However, we cannot recruit on the basis of a state quota. There is transparency in recruitment and merit is paramount."
Corporate media communication officer at Sangeetha Chakrawati refused comment.
CLAIMS FALLING FLAT?
On June 22, 2007, Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal had claimed in the state assembly that the Bathinda refinery would provide direct and indirect employment to
1.5 lakh Punjabis.
At the inauguration, Badal claimed that the refinery would be a big boost to the state economy, besides providing 'direct' employment to 20,000 people.
About the refinery
Prime minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the $4-billion (Rs 24,000 crore) project, a joint venture between HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL) and global steel baron Laksmi Niwas Mittal's Mittal Energy, on April 28, 2012, at Phulokhari village in Bathinda. The refinery has a processing capacity of 9-million tonnes.