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Feasible to sell petrol via e-commerce, but safety needs priority: Experts

According to reports, the idea was first floated by Pradhan at a consultative committee meeting of Members of Parliament in Srinagar on April 21

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Feasible to sell petrol via e-commerce, but safety needs priority: Experts

Aiming to give a major push to digital drive, the government is planning to put and along with its various products on platform.

But is it a feasible idea?

Domain experts say it is feasible but high safety measures need to be adopted.

"Can we connect oil with IT and telecommunications? We plan to put all petroleum products on platform," Oil Minister said while addressing at the recent India Mobile Congress here.

According to reports, the idea was first floated by Pradhan at a consultative committee meeting of in Srinagar on April 21.

"It is technically feasible to offer on sites and later get it delivered at doorsteps. But it has to be sealed properly and should be handled in a delicate manner. The need for emergency supplies can be met through this channel. It may become a popular product in rural areas where for miles there are no fuel pumps," Deepak Mahurkar, leader, oil and gas at PricewaterhouseCoopers India told IANS.

Former ONGC Chairman and Managing Director also said it's a workable idea, but emphasised that safety standards should be maintained.

"It is a technically feasible project. It can become highly commercially scaleable model. But safety is a major concern," Sharma told IANS.

Sharma who is also Chairman of Ficci Hydrocarbon Committee suggested that similar safety measures as pumps should be adopted by delivery persons while pouring into any vehicle.

Industry experts also raised concerns about the price of that will be charged by the platforms. They may charge a service fee as fuel will be delivered at doorsteps. On the other hand, if big players come in they might even cut-price, trying to gain more market share.

There are around 60,000 fuel retail outlets in India. The size of the entire petroleum industry is aorund Rs 6.5 lakh crore.

On average, 40 million consumers come to retail outlets across the country on a daily basis.

If is offered online, then it will surely ease pressure on these retail outlets.

"Technically it is possible. But it has to have a proper dispensing norm. It needs to stick to the norms set by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) to meet safety. Given the way retailing space is becoming precious, route can be an alternative route," Anish De, Partner, infrastructure, government and healthcare and Leader, oil and gas, at KPMG in India told IANS.

He said the concept is likely to gain traction in urban areas too as there are few pumps in the heart of many cities and urbanisation is happening fast.

First Published: Fri, October 13 2017. 14:21 IST
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