Branded fuels may soon disappear from pumps
Ashok Badhwar, president of Federation of All India Petroleum Traders, told FE, “The sales have dropped from around 10,000 litres from a pump in a single day to only 500 litres. We have requested oil companies to reduce the rates of premium fuel or stop supplying it completely, as two nozzles at every pump dispensing the premium fuels become virtually useless.” The federation has also urged oil marketing companies to drastically reduce the number of pumps stocking premium fuels, if a total phaseout is not possible.
In September, the government announced withdrawal of subsidy support for branded fuels (although branded fuels are nothing but regular auto fuels blended with special additives), which, in effect, increased branded fuel prices considerably. Currently the differential is upwards of R8 per litre for branded petrol and upwards of R18 per litre for branded diesel. The government had then cut excise duty on non-branded petrol by R5.50 to R9.28 per litre. But it did not cut the R15.96 a litre excise duty on branded petrol.
Said Srikumar, executive director of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which operates almost 40% fuel stations in the country, that the final push in the decline of sales of branded fuel was
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