The ministry of petroleum and natural gas on Wednesday handed over 195 fuel retail outlets to people belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories.
The ministry of petroleum and natural gas on Wednesday handed over 195 fuel retail outlets to people belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories and unmarried women or widows above the age of 40 who do not have parents and who despite having letters of intent (LOIs) could not start a business.
The outlets being given out belong to the oil marketing companies (OMCs) and though they are company-owned, company-operated (COCO), beneficiaries will be given these temporary outlets along with the capital to operate as part of the Corpus Fund Scheme of the ministry.
The beneficiaries of the scheme either lost their retail outlets due to acquisition of land by the government or affiliated agencies, or are those who could not retain possession due to court case or litigation.
A total of 825 LOIs from the SC/ST category are pending, and the OMCs have offered to award 595 COCO outlets for the scheme. The allotment letters were awarded by oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan along with minister for social justice and empowerment, Thawarchand Gehlot and minister for tribal affairs Jual Oram.
Of the 195 beneficiaries, Gujarat (28), Uttar Pradesh (24), Maharashtra (16) and Rajasthan (16) were the top recipients.
As earlier reported by FE, Maharashtra (125) leads the list of states and Union Territories with the highest number of pending LOIs from SC/ST categories.
At present people belonging to these categories operate a total of 6,053 retail outlets of the total 54,826 belonging to the OMCs, which is a mere 11%. Also, of the 195 allotment letters, 46 were given to the women belonging to the above-mentioned category.
During the last three years of the Narendra Modi-led ND government, 543 SC/ST retail outlets have been commissioned and 1,669 LOIs have been issued.
Under the Corpus Fund Scheme, OMCs will allot ready retail outlets to beneficiaries along with sufficient working capital loan for a full operation cycle of the operation of the outlet. The working capital and 11% annual interest will have to be paid back by the beneficiaries in 100 equal installments starting from 13th month of commencing operations.