The apex body of the dealers has questioned the legal validity of the decision, saying that the move to increase the number of fuel retail outlets is contrary to the government's own policy.
The All India Petrol Dealers Association (AIPDA) has decided to move to court against the Narendra Modi-led government’s decision to allow oil marketing companies to double the fuel retail outlets over the next five years. The apex body of the dealers has questioned the legal validity of the decision, saying that the move to increase the number of fuel retail outlets is contrary to the government’s own policy, IANS reported citing a top official on Wednesday.
“On one hand, the Centre has announced the closure of petrol pumps in India replacing them with alternative fuels by 2025. But, now they are publishing advertisements for allotting the second string of new petrol pumps. So what exactly is this policy?” AIPDA President Ajay Bansal told the news agency.
As of now, there are around 56,000 retail petrol pumps across the country which are run by the three state-owned oil market companies namely Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL). Indian Oil owns 26,982, BPCL owns 15,802, while HPCL has 12,865 fuel outlets.
Now, the government on November 25 allowed the state-run OMCs to go for a massive expansion and double the number of fuel outlets over the next five years, in order to meet the growing demand of petrol and diesel in the country. Apart from these, there are another 6,000 outlets, which are owned and operated by private companies.
It may be noted that India meets over 83% of its oil requirements through imports. In the last fiscal, the country spent $87.7 billion on importing 220.43 million tonnes (MT) of crude oil.