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No privatisation of ONGC, Gail: Manmohan

May 20, 2004 09:59 IST
Last Updated: May 20, 2004 12:08 IST

Prime Minister designate Manmohan Singh on Thursday said the public sector units like the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Gail would not be privatised.

"We are not pursuing privatisation as part of our ideological commitment. India needs a strong private sector as also a public sector," he told reporters in New Delhi.

"PSUs like Gail and ONGC will remain in the public sector. There is no intention to privatise them. Similarly there are nationalised banks which will remain in the public sector. These will not be privatised," he said.

He said: "We will not do anything which will throw a large pool of workers jobless."

Singh said, "While remaining as public enterprises, if they (PSUs) want to raise resources through divestment or through the sale of equity, they are most welcome."

Wherever the public sector enterprises want to compete with the private sector, there is no reason why they should not be allowed to go forward, the prime minister designate said.

"If they can't compete at equal footing with the private sector or become a drag on the exchequer, then privatisation may help by all means," he said.

"But the interest of the workers must be protected", Singh said.

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