Oil PSUs to Re-start Over Rs 42,000 Crore of Projects as Lockdown Restrictions Ease

State-owned oil firms will resume as many as 511 projects involving over Rs 42,000 crore of investment with immediate effect as the country partially exited from an unprecedented nationwide lockdown on Monday.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Indian Oil Corp (IOC), GAIL, Oil India Ltd and six other public sector firms identified projects that either in rural areas or have in situ labour for the resumption of work, oil ministry sources said.

The government had last week allowed makers of information technology hardware, farmers and industries in rural areas to resume operations as it looked to revive the economy that got stalled because of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

As many as 319 projects with these 10 PSUs are completely in rural areas and resuming work on them will not be much of a problem. Another 192 projects are within municipal limits but have in situ labour, they said.

In FY2020-21, these projects would involve an expenditure of over Rs 42,000 crore.

The restarting of these projects that spread from oil and gas exploration and development work to refinery jobs, gas pipeline laying and city gas distribution network expansion, will generate around 7 crore man-days of employment, they said.

These projects include 196 projects of IOC, 168 of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), 57 of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), 32 of GAIL and 26 projects of ONGC.

The sources said these projects involving refinery, exploration and production, marketing infrastructure, pipeline and city gas distribution are expected to generate Rs 2,210 crore of payout in the first month. Out of this, Rs 266 crore will be paid to labour.

These projects, they said, are in line with the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines and are assessed on the ground of manpower availability and other municipal restrictions.

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