Daily fuel price change: Ahead of strike, Indian Oil tries to allay fears of petrol pump dealers

New Delhi: As more petrol pump dealers decided to strike on Friday, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) on Tuesday stepped up efforts to explain implementation of the daily revision in petrol and diesel prices.

Daily price revision, which follows successful pilot in five cities, is to be implemented from 16 June, from when even the smallest change in international oil prices can be passed down to consumers.

IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh, who on Monday held extended parleys with petrol pump dealers from several states, said nothing is being done to the detriment of petrol pump operators.

"Whatever they were doing at 15-day frequency, they will be required to do daily. That is the only change," he told PTI here.

Delhi Petrol Dealers Association on Monday decided to join the call given by the Federation of All India Petroleum Traders (FAIPT) for 'no-purchase-no-sale' day on 16 June, saying the state-owned fuel retailers have "jumped into" the decision without checking the ground reality about automation system of pump.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

"Unless the price is pushed automatically through the automation system the petrol dealers are not ready to do it manually or fetch the price on a daily basis as being advised by the oil marketing companies. This manual intervention can lead to errors and delays in operation of the petrol pump," the association said.

Singh, however, said about 10,000 out of IOC's 26,000 petrol pumps across the country are already automated, where prices can be changed remotely, and the remaining will be automated by 2018.

"We are not saying that all petrol pumps have to change the price determined at midnight every day. All we are saying is that before you start your business, the price has to be adjusted. And that can be at 7 am in the morning," he said.

He said currently petrol pumps change rates according to the price decided by the oil companies on the fortnightly basis. This now has to be done on a daily basis.

"They have apprehensions of inventory losses in case prices drop but we do not anticipate international rates to go down steeply. In fact they have been stable and this is the right time to implement such a move," he said.

The association, however, said a stringent fine of Rs 5 lakh and suspension of sales and supplies for 60 days are provisioned for manually altering rates at petrol pumps but in reality not even half of pumps are automated.

IOC, the nation's largest fuel retailer, said it will provide information on daily price revisions through various means, including LED screens at petrol pumps, toll-free number, social media posts, mobile apps as well as through SMS.

Singh, along with IOC Director (Marketing) BS Canth, explained daily price change with retail outlet dealers of 11 states -- Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Bihar.

"The fear of dealers about inventory loss is unwarranted as the change of prices will happen both upwards as well as downwards, and thus both gain and loss would compensate each other," he said.

The pilot was successful in the five cities where the price change has been implemented smoothly.

Updated Date: Jun 14, 2017 13:27 PM

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