ibnlive » India

Jan 09, 2009 at 04:59pm IST

Oil PSU strike: Govt to call in Army

New Delhi: The Union Government has decided to act tough with the striking oil public sector unit (PSU) employees and will call in the Army to ensure smooth fuel supply.

All resources of government, including the Army, will be pressed into action to ensure smooth supply of fuel in the nation. OSOA cannot hold country to ransom,'' Petroleum Secretary RS Pandey said in New Delhi on Friday.

Army units have already been called in for oil cargo movement and they have also been deployed the Mathura Oil Refinery.

Criticising the OSOA, he said in the presence of Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, that some of the officers, who are well paid, are unreasonable in their demands.

However, the demands of OSOA are being discussed, Pandey added.

Pandey said the attendance at the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) refineries stood at 40 per cent on Friday, while at the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), the situation remained normal.

The HPCL refineries are working at 120 per cent capacity. However, ''IOC is still facing problems and ONGC's Hazira gas processing plant is the worst affected by the strike,'' Pandey informed.

He assured that the country has petrol stocks for 20 days, diesel stocks for 14 days, and LPG stocks for 12 days.

The Centre has advised state governments to take firm action against striking officers of oil PSUs, according to Home Minister P Chidambaram.

"Firm action is being taken," said Chidambaram. "Oil workers should call off strike. Government is willing to hold talks immediately," he added

Transport Secretary Brahm Dutt revealed that Union Government will run 15-20 lakh trucks in next few days to maintain essential supplies.

The strike by nearly 50,000 oil PSU officials entered its third day on Friday.

Earlier, talks between Oil Sector Officers' Association (OSOA) and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora on Thursday failed.

OSOA is sticking to its stand for immediate sanction of higher wages in 14 oil PSUs.

(With inputs from UNI)

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