India’s state-run oil marketing companies will revise petrol price on a daily basis all across the country beginning June 16, ET Now reported on Wednesday citing unidentified sources from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The reported roll out of daily petrol price revision mechanism all across India comes close on the heels of a pilot project to review petrol and diesel prices on a daily basis in five cities from May 1. There is no immediate information available on daily revision of diesel prices across all India.
At present, India’s three state-run oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp review retail fuel prices periodically and usually revise them every fortnight to pass on the impact of global crude oil prices on their purchases.
Earlier in May, the three fuel retailers begun a pilot in the cities of Puducherry and Vizag in southern India, Udaipur in the West, Jamshedpur in the East and Chandigarh in the North to revise petrol and diesel prices everyday, before implementing the mechanism nationwide in order to better shield themselves from volatility in global crude oil prices.
Since these three companies together control the bulk of the fuel retail market with over 90% of the operational outlets between them, and hence practically set the benchmarks in fuel pricing, the private fuel marketers Reliance Industries and Essar Oil, who have most of the remaining market, are also expected to soon follow suit.
The daily price change practice, commonly followed in many developed countries, is called dynamic fuel pricing. It is a practice in which the companies change the prices of petrol and diesel every day, based on crude price movements and don’t have to wait for a fortnightly review to adjust the prices.
The proposed move will allow the oil companies to align their retail prices more closely with the crude prices and will help them in tapering their losses, as currently, the oil companies are vulnerable to fluctuations in currency and crude oil prices over the 14-day cycle of retail price adjustment. This shift in pricing practice will also help in predicting their margins more accurately.
The introduction of daily price revision mechanism will likely propel Indian retail fuel market to the international standards. This move will also allow private competitors, Essar Oil and Reliance Industries, which currently follow the price set by state-owned companies, to also shift to a dynamic model.
The revision in retail fuel prices by the state-run oil marketing companies on a daily basis instead of fortnightly was recommended by the experts and was not on the orders of the government, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said in April.