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Petrol, diesel at your doorstep soon; govt plans home delivery of fuel

If the petroleum ministry’s tweet on Friday offers any clue, you will soon get petrol and diesel delivered at your home on pre-booking.

“Options being explored where petro products may be door delivered to consumers on pre booking,” said the tweet. “This would help consumers avoid spending excessive time and long queues at fuel stations,” the ministry tweeted.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

About 3.5 crore people come to fuel stations every day, it said. Annually Rs 2,500 cr ($387 million) worth of transactions takes place at fuel stations.

Presently, only the LPG gets delivered at home while the consumers has to go to the retail outlets to avail other petroluem products.

India, the world's third biggest oil consumer, will be introducing daily price revision of petrol and diesel in five cities from 1 May, ahead of a nation-wide roll out of the plan.

This comes at a time when petrol pumps have threatened to shut shops on Sunday and the government has expressed its displeasure about this move citing inconvenience to consumers.

The oil ministry has denounced the decision of a section of petrol pump operators, mostly in South India, to keep outlets shut on Sundays, saying such a move will inconvenience the general public.

It took umbrage at the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers using Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal of not using fuel for a day to help cut India's import dependence, saying it was aimed at conserving fuel and not for petrol pump owners to remain shut.

Already, the All India Petroleum Dealers Association, which claims to represent 80 percent of the 53,224 petrol pumps of public sector oil firms, has said it is not participating in the closure exercise.

For customers, the proposed move could be beneficial as prices of petrol and diesel are unlikely to change much on a daily basis, barring few paise.

"Daily price revision is about introducing international standards in the Indian fuel retail market. It helps both customers as well as dealers in managing their purchase, the ET report said quoting a executive of a state-owned oil firm.

With the current practice of fortnightly change in fuel prices, prices of petrol and diesel at times are hiked by more than a rupee or two reflecting volatility in global crude prices, thereby pinching customers' pockets. For instance, oil firms on 1 September, 2016, hiked petrol rate by Rs 3.40 a litre and diesel prices by Rs 2.70 a litre at one go, putting pressure on vehicle users.

Similarly on 16 October, petrol prices were raised by Rs 1.80 per litre and Rs 2.80 per litre for diesel as global prices were on the rise forcing domestic oil companies to follow suit.

However, on 31 March this year, the state-owned oil firms slashed prices of petrol by Rs 3.77 a litre and diesel by Rs 2.91 per litre, bringing relief to lakhs of vehicle owners.

Currently, state oil firms Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum control around 95 percent share of the retail market, and with automation in several retail outlets, daily price changes may not be that difficult for the companies, the ET report said.



Updated Date: Apr 21, 2017 18:16 PM

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