The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indian Oil staff may move court

New Delhi, Oct. 14: The employees of state-run oil major Indian Oil Corporation may move court against the government’s proposal to hive off its retail business.

IOC employees said the firm could be disinvested only after Parliament approves its sale. “Assam Oil division (AOD) was merged in IOC after parliamentary approval. Now to split (any business unit) will need explicit permission from the legislature (keeping in view the Supreme Court judgement),” E Haque, president of IOC officers’ association, said.

Last month, the Supreme Court had asked the government to divest oil firms — HPCL and BPCL — only after getting the approval of Parliament.

This has been taken to imply that no state-run firm, set up or nationalised by an act of Parliament, can be sold to private owners without first taking the national legislature’s concurrence.

Meanwhile, IOC officers’ association and the workers’ unions today jointly submitted a memorandum to petroleum minister Ram Naik against the split move.

Indian Oil has an over 30,000-strong workforce on its rolls.

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