BAN urges Centre to let state use its oil resources
Dimapur, Sep. 20 (EMN): The Business Association of Nagas (BAN) has said that the Centre should let the state explore its natural resources like the oil and contribute towards the nation building.
In an open representation to the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Labour and Employment, Rameshwar Teli, the association stated that it is important to let the states “secure the benefit of the enormous resources and share the wealth for the overall economic development of the country”.
“While ushering peace in the state, Nagaland government is losing out on major financial benefits and long term gainful employment and business opportunities that can be generated out of oil exploration and production activities for the Nagas, but just because of the tussle between the Centre and state government over the policy decision there are colossal economic losses to the State and the country,” read the representation.
It added that this issue should be addressed to enable the state to stand on its own feet and placed two points to be considered.
“Open up the DAB (Disturbed Area Belt) area for exploration and extraction on revenue sharing basis between Assam and Nagaland,” read one of the points.
“The central government should immediately give clearance to state government for issuance of PEL license to PSU/ NOC in order to invest in the state and ascertain hydrocarbon prospects and reserves within the awarded Block. The geological and geophysical (G&G) data that will be acquired (at no cost to the state government) will be processed and analysed to confirm the presence of hydrocarbon reserves which will be of great value and significance to the government in future,” it added.
Citing state’s lone Lok Sabha MP Tokheho Yepthomi’s recent press release, wherein he mentioned that the state is losing revenue from oil resources, the BAN said that “we want to be a major contributor in the nation’s GDP”. Highlighting the mounting fiscal deficit, it said the future looks very bleak for the Nagas without any foreseeable revenue from oil resources.
Stating that crude oil may lose its value and relevance over time if the world opts for alternate source of energy, the BAN stated that it “cannot afford to remain dormant towards the very natural resources trampled useless, while it could transform the entire state”.
“It is time for the state government to use its privilege and act proactively to bring about this exploration in the state with no more procrastination,” read the representation, adding that “the Centre should release all the clutches that had hindered the State to move forward”.