Two petitions have been filed against the proposed divestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) by the marketing and refinery unions of the Public Sector Undertakings.
These unions have approached the Bombay High Court with two similarly worded writ petitions, which say that if BPCL is allowed to be sold by stock market share value, the loss to the government exchequer will be to the tune of Rs. 4.5 trillion.
The unions had moved court on July 22, with a plea for immediate admission and hearing of these petition.
The Kerala government is also said to be contemplating approaching the High Court, citing that the land for the BPCL refinery was allotted to the PSU by the state government and is no way meant for use by private players. It intends to tell the court that the divestment process is against the basic spirit behind the allotment of land to the Public Sector Undertaking. The matter has been sent the state’s legal department for final opinion.
The seven unions which have taken legal recourse consist of Petroleum Employees Union, Bharat Petroleum Karmachari Union, Petroleum Karmachari Navnirman Union, BPCL (Refinery) Employees Union, and the Petroleum Workers’ Union.
At the current market capitalization of Rs. 94,568.57 crore, the value of 52.98 per cent stake in the company would be Rs. 50,100 crore. The petitions filed by the unions say that the total valuation of BPCL for the purpose of disinvestment, is grossly incorrect.