IOC employees to oppose privatisation in court

The employees said they will move court against Govt's move as the company can be privatised only through legislation.
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Updated on Nov 10, 2003 12:43 PM IST
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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) employees will move court against Government's proposal to sell retailing business of the country's sole Fortune 500 firm as according to them, the company can be privatised only through legislation.

"Assam Oil Division (AOD) was merged in IOC after Parliamentary approval. Now to split (any business unit) will need explicit nod of the law makers," Indian Oil Officers' Association president E Haque told reporters.

Last month, Supreme Court had frozen privatisation of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) saying the Government could sell its equity in the two firm, which were nationalised through an act of Parliament, only after seeking approval of the Legislature.

Indian Oil Employees Union president TS Rengarajan said IOC has historic need and necessity. "During the wars with Pakistan and China in 1960s and 1970s, the multinational oil firms refused to supply fuel to Indian army... It's IOC which has been doing service to the nation throughout and we proved what assets we are to the country during the Kargil war."

"We will fight the ill conceived move through the streets to the court room," Haque, who led a joint delegation of Indian Oil Officers Association and Indian Oil Workmen Unions to Petroleum Minister Ram Naik, said.

The proposal to split IOC into separate oil refining and petro fuel retailing firms and sell-off the latter would bleed the country's largest firm which all this while has invested heavily in brand building and integration along they hydrocarbon value chain, he said.

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