Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD and Opposition Congress Wednesday objected to collection of personal data of all persons working in petrol pumps by oil marketing companies (OMCs).
According to sources, three public sector oil companies – Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd – has asked about 63,000 petroleum dealers across the nation to submit the data of their employees for what is known as the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) scheme under the PM’s Skill Development Scheme.
Seeing politics behind the move, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra raised questions over the directive and asked the Centre as to why the Centre has sought such data from petrol pump dealers after four and half-years and ahead of elections.
“What made the Centre think about the welfare of employees at petroleum outlets? Politics is not the only factor associated with this information gathering exercise, there are multiple angles involved in it, which will be put forth before public soon,” Patra said.
Reacting to the issue, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said, “As per rules, the government has the rights to ask all sorts of information from petrol pumps. If the data was asked for noble purpose it is good. However, it cannot be ruled out that it was asked for political use.”
Rejecting any political motive behind the move of OMCs, state BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan said the data was sought only to cover the employees under skill development programme as they are treated as unskilled workers.
“Banks and various organisations also seek KYC (know your customer) from people. That doesn’t mean it is used for politics. This should not be politicised,” the BJP leader added.
“The oil marketing companies have asked for the data saying they will use it for skill development programmes. As per our agreement we have to share such information with them. If they have sought the information for any other purpose we will take up the issue with them,” said Sanjay Lath, General Secretary of Utkal Petroleum Dealers’ Association (UPDA).