Monday, July 23, 2018
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FLASH
  • RS proceedings adjourned till noon after TDP creates ruckus over special category status for Andhra
  • SC to hear on August 28 pleas seeking contempt action against Rajasthan govt in the recent mob lynching case at Alwar.
  • There cannot be a complete ban on holding protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi: SC
Dealers protest as oil cos seek info on caste, faith, constituency of staff
File photo
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Dealers protest as oil cos seek info on caste, faith, constituency of staff

IOCL officer claims data being collected to provide training, certification23 Jul 2018 | 10:03 AM

JALANDHAR: The country’s top public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the oil sector have put their dealers on slippery ground. In a recent communication, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd have sought information on the caste and religion, among other personal details, of over 10 lakh workers at various retail filling stations and LPG agencies in India.

[ + read story ]

Rachna Khaira

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 22

The country’s top public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the oil sector have put their dealers on slippery ground.

In a recent communication, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd have sought information on the caste and religion, among other personal details, of over 10 lakh workers at various retail filling stations and LPG agencies in India. 

From lorry drivers to mechanics, they have been asked to fill forms that also ask for the parliamentary constituency each employee belongs to.

The form, prepared by the Hydrocarbon Sector Skill Council set up by the Ministry of Petroleum, seeks to know the Aadhaar number, name of the bank seeded with it, Aadhaar enrolment number and Aadhaar verification status. On completion of the exercise, each worker will get skill certification and Rs 500 will be deposited in his or her bank account.

That the information was mandatory dawned on petroleum retailers when the supply of products to their outlets was allegedly stopped. 

In a letter to each of the three companies, Paramjit Singh Doaba, president, Petrol Pump Dealers Association, Punjab, has written: “This is a serious breach of our rights as well as the rights of our employees. The information sought is a direct affront to the privacy and dignity of our employees where their religion, caste and annual household income are sought. Only the GoI and its agencies through government notification are authorised to collect this information, and we are neither authorised nor in a position to ask for such information from our employees as this would directly affect their right to privacy under the Fundamental Right of Freedom.”

Gurmeet Monty Sehgal, spokesperson for the Petrol Pump Dealers Association (PPDA), Punjab, added that workers were employees of dealers. Hence, oil PSUs had no right to seek their personal details.  He asked: “Are they mapping our employees for a poll database? We as employers are only responsible to the state Labour Department, the ESI and EPF Department.” He alleged the matter was raised two days ago when the supply to a filling station in Chowki Mann in Ludhiana was held up and was resumed on the intervention of the association.

Indian Oil Company Limited Chief General Manager, Punjab, Sandeep Jain, said he was not aware of any such move. But RN Dubey, Chief Manager, Corporate Communications (Planning and Coordination), also the nodal agency for all oil PSUs in Punjab, said the data was being collected on behalf of the Hydrocarbon Sector Skill Council, which in collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, intended to provide training and certification to the workforce at retail outlets.

“Most of the employees have been working for years. Even as they are highly skilled as they deal with inflammable material, they do not have any certification. We will be providing certification under the ‘Prior Learning Programme’ of the HSSC,” Dubey explained. This certification under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana “will improve employee motivation and upgrade skills”, he added. Asked about the need for information on caste, constituency and IFSC code, he had no answer.

Skill programme

  • Indian Oil Company Limited officer: Data being collected on behalf of Hydrocarbon Sector Skill Council
  • Council has been set up by the Ministry of Petroleum to address skill development needs across the value chain of the sector
  • At its meeting in May, it proposed “Prior Learning Programme” to certify 10 lakh employees at retail petroleum outlets
  • It also decided that the expenses for the programme would be borne by the oil companies
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