While the government’s dual pricing policy
by the government has miffed the bulk consumers, retail players claim that it is yet to be implemented at the ground level even in depots.
“The dual pricing system is yet to be implemented at the ground level. Even at depots, they are following the single price regime. Government is set to come out with a direction in this regard in the next 10-15 days. So, it is not true that there is a huge rise in sales at retail outlets as bulk customers are shifting to local stations after the price rise,” said Ajay Bansal, General Secretary of the Federation of All-India Petroleum Traders.
Of the total diesel consumption of 70 million tonnes per annum, bulk diesel sales for the industry is close to 12 MT and under-realisation per litre is Rs 10.31 paise per litre. Bulk sales happen directly from the oil depots of the oil marketing companies. If bulk users buy from retail outlets, it may be illegal.
While some say that there is a marginal rise in sales from retail outlets, majority of the dealers assure that there is no real impact of the government’s move. “It is true that a difference of Rs 9.5 per litre is really hurting the bulk consumers. But we have not seen a dramatic rise in sales after that. Some filling stations have seen a minor rise of may be 5 per cent, but it does not mean that bulk consumers are depending on retail outlets,” said a dealer from Indraprastha region here.
Allowing sales of diesel in bulk at market price has opened the entire segment for competition, with private players also set to join the bandwagon. The largest threat is to IndainOil Corporation which holds 78 per cent of the bulk diesel sales market. According to dealers, it is impossible for a pump to supply to larger consumers.
“The sales from a filling station in Delhi on a normal day would range from 3,500-50,000 litres. In the case of bulk consumers, they fill from depots in tankers, with a size of 12,000 or 20,000 litres. Then how is it possible for us to feed them in such a huge numbers. Don’t you think oil marketing companies will notice this?. Even if some illegal trade happens in some pumps, it will not be of the range of more than a 1000 litres per day,” said one of them. According to retail players, apart from this depots offer them credits and other discounts for bulk consumers, which they don’t normally get at filling stations.