Reliance Industries (RIL) today said it will step up expansion of its petrol pump network if the government deregulates price of diesel.
The company has lost market share as it is unable to match the subsidised price at which its public sector competition sells petrol and diesel.
"Petrol at our outlets is Rs 2.50 per litre costlier than PSU price and diesel Rs 7.50 a litre," said P Raghavendran, President (Refineries), RIL.
The company is operating about 630 out of the 1,432 petrol pumps it has in the country. "The volumes (sold at Reliance pumps) are very small."
RIL is selling just 5% of what it used to sell through its outlets in 2006. It had captured about 20% market share in diesel with close to 7 million tonne a year of sales. Its petrol sales had touched 1 million tonne.
"We are doing less than 5% of the normal volumes," he said.
Raghavendran said the company will step up its retail expansion if the government were to deregulate diesel prices.
Public sector oil firms get government subsidy for selling diesel at artificially lower rates. State firms have not raised even the price of petrol in line with cost despite it being freed from government control in June last year.