Disinvestment blues : Mumbai HPCL staff confront RIL team

Mumbai: Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) employees, protesting against the proposed disinvestment of their company, on Friday prevented the Reliance Industries team from entering the public sector unit refinery in Mumbai for conducting due diligence.

A senior HPCL official said the team was finally allowed to enter the refinery premises late in the evening after the daylong agitation ended following prolonged discussions.

"HPCL management representatives assured union members that the due diligence team will not return to the refinery till the Supreme Court gives its order, on whether the government can go ahead with disinvestment, on 1 September," says Rajiv Shetty, secretary-general, Petroleum Employees Unions.

Shetty says the due diligence carried out in Delhi, Chennai and Haryana was peaceful, as union presence at these locations is low. Even on the day the due diligence process began, the ministry of petroleum and natural gas has suggested that it be deferred till the Supreme Court heard a petition challenging the government decision to sell the 34.01-per cent stake in the company.