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CM toasts leash on oil selloff

Calcutta, Sept. 17: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today welcomed the Supreme Court order restraining the Centre from selling two major public sector oil companies — Hindusthan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum — without parliamentary approval.

He said a decision of Parliament cannot be reversed by an executive order. “Whatever decision is to be taken, will have to be done with the approval of Parliament,” he added.

The chief minister, however, clarified that the ruling did not apply to state public sector undertakings.

“Our problem is different. We have decided to go in for joint venture for 10 of our own public sector units. We have also decided to close down two of our units. We want to restructure the 10 units and the Supreme Court’s observation will not affect us,” he said.

Replying to questions on the Great Eastern Hotel, Bhattacharjee said the trade unions have realised that the hotel will have to go to private hands and have accepted the position. “We will soon float new tenders for the hotel,” he said.

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