The government on Wednesday said country’s petrol and diesel production is more than sufficient to take care of any demand surge and that the public sector oil marketing companies are putting in extra effort to cater to the additional demand.
The government’s statement comes following reports that public sector retail fuel outlets in various parts of the country are going dry on supply constraints.
In an official statement, the government admitted that customers’ wait-time at fuel stations in some specific areas, particularly in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, have indeed increased because of “big increase in instances of rush”, but that is mainly due to unprecedented demand surge, as high as 50%, in the first fortnight of the current month compared with the same period a year ago.
“In general, the increase in demand has been on account of the seasonal surge in demand due to agricultural activities, Bulk buyers having shifted their purchases to retail outlets, and a substantial reduction in the sales by private marketing companies with their substantial volumes having shifted to PSU retail outlets. Simultaneously, as a result of a crackdown by the government on illegal bio-diesel sales, these volumes have also been added to the retail outlet diesel sale,” the government said.
The government said in these states large quantity of supply was being done by private marketing companies and where the distances from supply locations, terminals and depots, are longer.
The government said the unprecedented growth in demand has created some temporary logistics issues in these states at the local level. Oil companies have geared up to tackle these issues by increasing the stocks at the depots and terminals, extra movement of tank trucks and lorries to serve the retail outlets and extending working hours of depots and terminals including at night to cater to the extra demand. It has also provisioned for extra quantities of fuels for supply in the affected states.
“The companies are ensuring that sufficient supplies of petrol and diesel are available to cater to this extra demand, and they are committed to fulfil the energy needs of the nation,” the government said.