New Delhi, Oct 16 : Congress on Tuesday demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into allegations of the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) turning debt-ridden due to government decisions. The party accused the Modi government of “systematically attempting to destroy the public sector”.
Citing a letter written by the ONGC trade union body to Prime Minister Narendra Modi detailing how government interference has broken the “economic backbone of the company”, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said a Supreme Court-appointed panel of experts was a must to probe the allegations and look into the company’s affairs from the time the BJP came to power at the Centre.
“From forcing the ONGC to acquire a gas block from Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) for Rs 8,000 crore to funding its fiscal deficit by compelling the ONGC to buy a stake in HPCL, the Modi government has systematically hit the ONGC.
“Because of all these, ONGC group’s debt doubled to Rs 1,11,533 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 55,619 crore in 2016-17. Such is the condition that the ONGC has to now avail of overdraft facility to discharge the salary obligation of the employees,” Tewari told the media citing the letter written by the ONGC’s Employees Mazdoor Sabha.
The letter by the employees union written to Modi last month has alleged that “decisions taken over the past four-and-a-half years have broken the economic backbone of the company”.
“Over the past 52 months, a profitable public sector undertaking has been systematically crippled and debt ridden. There seems to be a systematic and calibrated attempt to completely destroy the public sector in India,” said Tewari